Kobe - Italy have promised to hit back against Japan in
their second rugby Test on Saturday after suffering a bloody nose in last
The Brave Blossoms thumped the visitors 34-17 in Oita in the
first game of a two-match series, and the Italians are anxious to avenge that
heavy defeat by the 2019 World Cup hosts.
"We're in the best possible condition," Italy
captain Leonardo Ghiraldini told reporters on Friday.
"As usual we have come here for a victory. If we put in
the performance we are capable of, then we expect to win."
But Japan, who are ranked 11th in the world - three places
above the Six Nations team - could once again prove a tough nut to crack and
coach Jamie Joseph has called for improvement from his players.
"We turned a lot of their ball over but we never really
capitalised on those opportunities," the former All Black told local
"We've worked a lot on trying to create opportunities
around turnover ball. That's the unstructured game that we pride ourselves
Joseph also called for Japan to be more clinical in the
"We missed a tot of tackles," he said. "We
missed 36 tackles and that's just not good enough. We want to improve that
skill-set and that part of the game."
Meanwhile, Japan captain Michael Leitch warned against
"That's always a danger when you beat a team quite
convincingly," he told Kyodo news. "The big focus for us this week is
keeping the preparation the same but making sure we are mentally switched
15 Kotaru Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Michael Leitch (captain), 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Samuela Anise, 4 Wimpie Van Der Walt, 3 Ji-Won Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Substitutes: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Amanaki Mafi, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryoto Nakamura
15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Matteo Minozzi, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Andrea Lovotti
Substitutes: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Giovanni Licata, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Giulio Bisegni