Rugby

SA-born Labuschagne to captain Japan on Test debut

2019-07-26 07:31
Lappies Labuschagne (Getty)

Cape Town - Former Cheetahs and Bulls flanker Lappies Labuschagne will captain Japan on his Test debut when they tackle Fiji in Kamaishi on Saturday.

The 30-year-old played for the Cheetahs between 2011 and 2014, before playing for the Bulls in 2015 and 2016.

He then joined the Kubota Spears in Japan and also played Super Rugby for the Sunwolves.

Labuschagne has qualified for the Japanese national team having fulfilled World Rugby's three-year eligibility criteria.

Another South African, lock/flank Wimpie van der Walt, will be on the bench for the Pacific Nations Cup match on Saturday. He has already earned nine Test caps for Japan since making his debut in 2017.

"It's a massive honour and privilege to play in the Brave Blossoms jersey representing a great country like Japan," Labuschagne told the Japan Times.

Kick-off is at 07:50 (SA time) on Saturday.

Teams:

Japan

15 Will Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Kazuki Himeno, 5 Luke Thompson, 4 James Moore, 3 Asaeli Ai Valu, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki

Substitutes: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Shogo Miura, 18 Yusuke Kizu, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Michael Leitch, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Romano Lava Lemeki

Fiji

15 Alivereti Veitokani, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Patrick Osbourne, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Semi Kunatani, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Albert Tuisue, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Eroni Mawi

Substitutes: 16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Lee-Roy Atalifo, 19 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 20 Peceli Yato, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Jale Vatubua, 23 Josh Matavesi

 

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