Jones Names 35 Man Squad For Wales Visit

TOKYO (May 13) – Japan coach Eddie Jones named a 35-man squad Monday ahead of the upcoming IRB Pacific Nations Cup and the two-test series with Six Nations champions Wales.

The squad is based largely on the players that helped Japan to their sixth straight HSBC Asian 5 Nations title, a campaign that saw them score 316 points and concede just eight.

There are, however, three notable additions in Shota Horie, Fumiaki Tanaka and Michael Leitch.

Hooker Horie and scrumhalf Tanaka have both started games in recent weeks for the Rebels and Highlanders, respectively, while flanker Leitch has spent the last few months in New Zealand as part of the Chiefs expanded squad.

“After the successful Asian 5 Nations, we have now picked a squad that we believe can win the Pacific Nations Cup and beat Wales and we’re looking forward to having Horie, Leitch and Tanaka back in the squad after the Super Rugby,” Jones said prior to going into camp with his players.

A number of players who picked up knocks during the A5N or were rested for the latter stages have also been included, including Toshiaki Hirose who led the side in the first two tests before damaging a hamstring.

“We realize that we need to keep working very hard on our strength and conditioning and the way we play the game, and hopefully guys like Hirose will rehab quickly and be back for selection as soon as possible,” Jones said, adding that Masakazu Nagano would also train with the squad.

To help with the increased physicality of the games ahead, Fabio Ongaro (capped 80 times by Italy) and Marc Dal Maso (who won 33 caps for France) will work with the squad as spot coaches.

The Brave Blossoms open their summer campaign against Tonga in Yokohama on May 25, before travelling to Fiji for a match on June 1.

They then return to Japan to play Wales on June 8 (in Osaka) and 15 (Tokyo), before wrapping up their PNC campaign with games against Canada and the United States on June 19 in Nagoya and June 23 in Tokyo.

Yusuke NAGAE, RICOH BlackRams
Masataka MIKAMI,TOSHIBA Brave Lupus
Takuma ASAHARA,TOSHIBA Brave Lupus
Shota HORIE,Panasonic Wild Knights
Takeshi KIZU,KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers
Yusuke AOKI,SUNTORY Sungoliath
Hiroki YUHARA,TOSHIBA Brave Lupus
Hiroshi YAMASHITA,KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers
Shoji ITO,KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steele
Hitoshi ONO,TOSHIBA Brave Lupus
Shinya MAKABE,SUNTORY Sungoliath
Justin IVES,CANON Eagles
Ryuta YASUI,KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers
Michael LEITCH,TOSHIBA Brave Lupus
Hendrik TUI,SUNTORY Sungoliath
Takashi KIKUTANI,TOYOTA Verblitz
Ryu Koliniasi HOLANI,Panasonic Wild Knights
Atsushi HIWASA,SUNTORY Sungoliath
Fumiaki TANAKA,PANASONIC Wild Knights
Keisuke UCHIDA,Univ.of Tsukuba
Kosei ONO,SUNTORY Sungoliath
Yu TAMURA,NEC Green Rockets
Harumichi TATEKAWA,Kubota Spears
Craig WING,KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers
Ryoto NAKAMURA,Teikyo Univ.
Male SAU,YAMAHA Jubilo
Yoshikazu FUJITA,Waseda Univ.
Toshiaki HIROSE,TOSHIBA Brave Lupus
Yuta IMAMURA,KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers
Hirotoki ONOZAWA,SUNTORY Sungoliath
Kenki FUKUOKA,Univ.of Tsukuba