Japan change squad again

Japan have been forced to make a third change to their squad for the World Cup after flyhalf Eiji Ando was ruled out.

Ando damaged knee ligaments in Japan’s victory over Portugal in Treviso last Saturday, a match Japan won 15-13.

Ando was in the side because New Zealander James Arlidge broke a leg in May and is not yet fully fit though he is travelling with the squad as unofficial back-up. Ando is to return to Japan for treatment. His replacement is a wing/fullback, Tatsuya Kusumi

Japan’s general manager Osamu Ota noted, “Although Kusumi was not part of the original extended squad, considering present circumstances and the lack of depth at fullback, we decided to bring him into the squad. He is a quick, attacking player and we expect him to settle into the team environment as soon as possible.”

This means that Japan have just one specialist fly half – 20-year-old Kousei Ono, who grew up in New Zealand.

In the same match wing Daisuke Ohata ruptured his left Achilles and has returned to Japan for an operation. He has been replaced by wing Tomoki Kitagawa.

Earlier, the hooker Mitsugu Yamamoto injured a hamstring and was replaced by Taku Inokuchi.

Japan’s World Cup squad:

Ryo Yamamura, Tomokazu Soma, Tatsukichi Nishiura, Yuji Matsubara, Yusuke Aoki, Taku Inokuchi, Hitoshi Ono, Takanori Kumagae, Luatangi Vatuvei, Luke Thompson, Takuro Miuchi (cap), Yasunori Watanabe, Hajime Kiso, Hare Makiri, Philip O’Reilly, Takamichi Sasaki

Backs: Yuki Yatomi, Tomoki Yoshida, Kousei Ono, Shotaro Onishi, Nataniela Oto, Yuta Imamura, Koji Taira, Bryce Robins, Hirotoki Onozawa, Kosuke Endo, Christian Loamanu, Go Aruga, Tatsuya Kusumi, Tomoki Kitagawa

365 Digital

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