The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has named a 31-man squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. The squad features a mix of experience and youth, with 17 players who were part of Japan’s 2019 World Cup squad, including captain Michael Leitch and vice-captain Shota Horie.
The most notable omissions from the squad are hooker Shota Sakate, who is recovering from a knee injury, and prop Asaeli Ai Valu, who has retired from international rugby.
Other notable omissions include wing Lomano Lava Lemeki, who was a key player in Japan’s 2019 World Cup campaign, and scrumhalf Naoto Saito, who has been replaced by Yutaka Nagare.
The squad is captained by Michael Leitch, who is in his ninth season as a Japanese international. Leitch is a hard-nosed flanker who is known for his leadership and work ethic. He will be looking to lead Japan to their best performance at a Rugby World Cup yet.
The other notable players in the squad include Shota Horie, who is the starting hooker; Yu Tamura, who is the starting fly-half; and Ryoto Nakamura, who is one of the best centers in the world.
Head coach: Jamie Joseph
Captain: Michael Leitch
Forwards: Keita Inagaki, Craig Millar, Sione Halasili, Koo Ji-won, Shinnosuke Kakinaga, Asaeli Ai Valu, Shota Horie, Atsushi Sakate, Kosuke Horikoshi, James Moore, Jack Cornelsen, Shota Fukui, Kazuki Himeno, Michael Leitch, Ben Gunter
Backs: Naoto Saito, Yutaka Nagare, Kenta Fukuda, Lee Seung-sin, Rikiya Matsuda, Jumpei Ogura, Ryoto Nakamura, Tomoki Osada, Shogo Nakano, Dylan Riley, Siosaia Fifita, Semisi Masirewa, Jone Naikabula, Lomano Lemeki, Kotaro Matsushima.
Japan is the first Asian team to reach the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup, and they will be looking to build on that success in 2023. They have a young and talented team, and they will be a tough team to beat.
Here is a closer look at some of the key players in the Japan squad:
Michael Leitch (captain): Leitch is a hard-nosed flanker who is known for his leadership and work ethic. He will be looking to lead Japan to their best performance at a Rugby World Cup yet.
Shota Horie: Horie is the starting hooker for Japan. He is a strong scrummager and a good lineout jumper.
Yu Tamura: Tamura is the starting fly-half for Japan. He is a gifted playmaker with a good kicking game.
Ryoto Nakamura: Nakamura is one of the best centers in the world. He is a powerful runner and a good defender.
Japan is a very talented team and they will be one of the favorites to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup. They have a young and exciting team, and they will be a tough team to beat.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the Japan squad announcement:
- Japan has named a strong squad with a good mix of experience and youth.
- The squad is captained by Michael Leitch, who is one of the most experienced players in the team.
- Japan will be looking to build on their success from the 2019 World Cup and reach the semifinals or even the final in 2023.
The Japan rugby team is one of the most exciting teams in the world, and they will be a team to watch in 2023. I hope they can go all the way and win the Rugby World Cup.
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