June International Tours

Japan’s Super Rugby stars to play against Wales

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Super Rugby stars Fumiaki Tanaka and Shota Horie will lead Japan’s hopes when they take on Six Nations champions Wales in Osaka this weekend.

Tanaka, who has impressed with the Highlanders, and Horie of the Melbourne Rebels, will run out against a second-string Wales, whose top players are touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions, on Saturday.

Toyota Verblitz number eight Takashi Kikutani will skipper a side featuring former Australian rugby league international Craig Wing at centre, and New Zealand-born flanker Michael Broadhurst.

Japan, coached by former Australia boss Eddie Jones, are hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and have laid out plans to break into the top 10 rugby nations within two years.

“The Japanese team can improve further. I want to be in a team that can compete against the world,” said Tanaka.

“By challenging a better team like Wales and by beating them, I want to lift the Japanese team to a higher level.”

Japan

Ayumu Goromaru; Yoshikazu Fujita, Male Sau, Craig Wing, Kenki Fukuoka; Harumichi Tatekawa, Fumiaki Tanaka; Takashi Kikutani (capt), Michael Broadhurst, Hendrik Tui; Shoji Ito, Hitoshi Ono; Hiroshi Yamashita, Shota Horie, Masataka Mikami

Replacements: Takeshi Kizu, Yusuke Nagae, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Toshizumi Kitagawa, Ryuta Yasui, Atsushi Hiwasa, Yu Tamura, Hirotoki Onozawa

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