Rugby World Cup 2011

Japan make wholesale changes

2011-09-14 10:00
John Kirwan (Gallo)

Hamilton - Only four players from the Japan team which put up a feisty performance against France survived sweeping changes by coach John Kirwan for their second match against the All Blacks.

Kirwan said he wanted his squad of 30 to have game time before their target match against Tonga five days after they play the All Blacks at Waikato Stadium on Friday.

"We have a one-team motto, we live by that and I want them all to compete against each other. When I pick the team to play Tonga it will be based on the first two performances.

Only captain Takashi Kikutani, who moves to the backrow, lock Toshizumi Kitagawa, outside centre Koji Taira and wing Hirotoki Onozawa remain from the team which lost to France 47-21 after trailling by just four points with 10 minutes to go.

Against the All Blacks, Kirwan said accuracy would been a key factor if Japan, who are clearly the underdogs, are to put up a credible performance.

"I think the All Blacks are pretty complete right across the field and if you're not accurate all night then you will pay for that," he said.

"For us it is about getting our preparation right, mentally, physically, tactically and then really implementing it for 80 minutes.

"You can look at it two ways, it's a hard task or it's a really exciting opportunity and we're taking the exciting opportunity approach."


New Zealand:
15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Richie McCaw (Captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.

15 Taihei Ueda, 14 Takehisa Usuzuki, 13 Koji Taira, 12 Yuta Imamura, 11 Hirotoki Onozawa, 10 Murray Williams, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Takashi Kikutani (captain), 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Itaru Taniguchi, 5 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Nozomu Fujita, 2 Yusuke Aoki, 1 Naoki Kawamata

Substitutes: 16 Hiroki Yuhara, 17 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 18 Yuji Kitagawa, 19 Sione Vatuvei, 20 Tomoki Yoshida, 21 Shaun Webb, 22 Alisi Tupuailai


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