Japan v Wales - First Test match preview

Last Updated: 08/06/13 7:28am

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Sky Bet

Japan have called two Super Rugby players into their squad for the first of two international Tests against Wales on Saturday.

Highlanders scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka and Melbourne Rebels hooker Shota Horie will both start as Japan, ranked 15th in the world, look to upset Six Nations champions Wales.

No 8 Takashi Kikutani will lead the Japanese side which includes former Australian rugby league international Craig Wing and New Zealand born flanker Michael Broadhurst.

Japan have won 10 of their last 15 internationals with former Wallabies coach Jones at the helm, including a dominating Asian Cup triumph in May.

While the hosts boast 293 Test caps in their squad, Wales will have their reserve strength tested in Osaka with 15 first-choice players away representing the British and Irish Lions.


Wales caretaker coach Robin McBryde has named four uncapped players in his starting XV for the first Test as well as four more amongst the replacements.

Teenage winger Dafydd Howells, Cardiff Blues centre Owen Williams, Scarlets hooker Emyr Phillips and Ospreys flanker James King will all make their international bow at Hanazono Field this weekend.

Bradley Davies will captain Wales from the second row while Lloyd Williams and Dan Biggar are presented with an opportunity to build on impressive performances in the Six Nations.

Forwards Scott Baldwin and Rhys Patchell could also debut from the bench while backs Dan Baker and Blues captain Andries Pretorius also feature in the Wales squad for the first time.

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani (capt), 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Yusuke Nagae, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 20 Ryuta Yasui, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Hirotoki Onozawa.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Dafydd Howells, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 James King, 6 Andrew Coombs, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies (capt), 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Andries Pretorius, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Tom Prydie.

What they said...

Japan coach Eddie Jones

"We play rugby differently to any team in the world. We pass the ball a lot more and play quicker rugby. We will want to move the ball around.

"We are looking forward to playing our game against one of the best teams in the world."

Wales caretaker coach Robin McBryde

"We have been impressed with training and all the boys have put their hand up to try and get into the test team.

"They are eager to get out there now, pull on the jersey and show what they can do."

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Japan v Wales, first Test 2013

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