Kirwan demands big effort

Japan coach John Kirwan has warned his men they will need to be on top of their game to come out victors against a strong-looking Fiji outfit in their Rugby World Cup clash in Toulouse on Wednesday.

Japan have changed their entire starting line-up from the side that got drilled 91-3 by Australia four days ago in Lyon.

They were also beaten 30-15 by Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup earlier this year and Kirwan had a clear message that to reverse the scoreline everyone will have to play their best game and the team will have to play for 80 minutes.

“I think we were strong against them in the Pacific Nations, our scrum was strong and we took a few of their line-out balls so we will probably target their line-out, target their set piece and go for them wherever we can,” said Kirwan.

“We need to get in their face and not give them any space but we need to make those one-on-one tackles once we are up there.”

Number eight Takuro Miuchi returns to the side as captain, while Kirwan has also included former Hurricanes fly-half Bryce Robins and former Crusaders flanker Philip O’Reilly.

Robins has not played at fly-half for three years but is confident Japan can gain revenge for their recent defeat to Fiji in the .

“We should have won that game but blew a few tries. We know that but Fiji have named a different team to the one we played,” said Kirwan.

“They like to run the ball and one-on-one they are strong.”


365 Digital

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