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Blwe_torch

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Japan: News from the land of the Rising Sun
« on: September 04, 2007, 04:56:59 PM »

Japan "carries the hopes of a nation" in RWC
(Rugby News Service) Monday 13 August 2007

 Ohata's return to fitness is a huge boost for Japan.

Japan coach John Kirwan named his 30-man squad for Rugby World Cup 2007 in Tokyo on Saturday with a simple message to those heading to France – they would be “living a sportsman’s dream” and carrying the hopes of the entire nation on their shoulders.

Kirwan, a World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 1987 who also coached Italy in the last tournament, has named number 8 Takuro Miuchi as captain and will have been relived to see Japan’s world record try scorer Daisuke Ohata prove his fitness with a try against the Asian Barbarians on Friday.

“We have a big responsibility for Asia, and a big responsibility for Japan,” Kirwan said. “Japan carries the dreams and hopes of a nation for whom rugby is about to explode. We need a great World Cup and we need the players to be great. It we can do that then we can rejoice in the success it will bring everyone.

“Our strengths are our agility, strength and intelligence. The World Cup is the best of the best. We must eliminate our errors and enforce our game plan on the opposition. If we can do that, then teams will find it very difficult to play against us.”

World Cup veterans

Ohata, the flying wing who has been sidelined with an Achilles injury since January, is the only back over the age of 30 in Kirwan’s squad and, like flanker Yasunori Watanabe, will be playing in his third World Cup for Japan, albeit still seeking a first victory.

Five other players – Miuchi, props Ryo Yamamura and Masahito Yamamoto, back row Hajime Kiso and centre Hirotoki Onozawa – will be representing Japan in their second tournament in France, while 12 of the squad have 10 caps or fewer.

Japan have been drawn in Pool B at Rugby World Cup 2007 with Australia, Wales, Fiji and Canada. Kirwan’s side open their campaign against the two-time champion Wallabies in Lyon on 8 September.

The squad leave Japan on 12 August and then continue their preparations with Tests against Italy in St Vincent on 18 August and then a first ever international with Portugal in Venice the following weekend.

Japan squad:

Forwards (16): Ryo Yamamura, Masahito Yamamoto, Tomokazu Soma, Tatsukichi Nishiura, Yuji Matsubara, Mitsugu Yamamoto, Hitoshi Ono, Takanori Kumagae, Luatangi Samurai Vatuvei, Luke Thompson, Takuro Miuchi (Captain), Yasunori Watanabe, Hajime Kiso, Hare Makiri, Philip O’Reilly, Takamichi Sasaki.

Backs (14): Yuki Yatomi, Tomoki Yoshida, Eiji Ando, Kousei Ono, Shotaro Onishi, Nataniela Oto, Yuta Imamura, Koji Taira, Bryce Robins, Daisuke Ohata, Hirotoki Onozawa, Kosuke Endo, Christian Loamanu, Go Aruga.

« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 05:03:53 PM by Blwe_torch »
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Blwe_torch

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Re: Japan: News from the land of the Rising Sun
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 04:59:26 PM »

Japan too strong for Asian Barbarians
(Rugby News Service) Friday 10 August 2007

 
Japan ran in 11 tries against the Asian Barbarians Photo: JRFU / H Nagaoka

More than 10,000 fans gathered at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground in Tokyo on Friday evening to see Japan play the Asian Barbarians in their final match on home soil before Rugby World Cup 2007.

The first night match at the venue in 34 years saw Japan outscore their opponents – a mix of former Japanese internationals and players from China, Korea, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong – by 11 tries to one in humid conditions to triumph 69-10.

Japan started brightly with their star wing Daisuke Ohata marking his comeback to the national side with a try, the world’s leading try scorer having ruptured his Achilles tendon in January and undergone intensive rehabilitation in an effort to return in time for the World Cup.

Keiji Hirose – who played for Japan at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 World Cups – kicked a 12th minute penalty for the Asian Barbarians, before Japan responded with tries by flanker Takamichi Sasaki, wing Hirotoki Onozawa, centre Koji Taira and fullback Go Aruga.

Promoting rugby in Asia

The Asian Barbarians pulled a try back through Japanese second row Tomoaki Taniguchi under the posts, but they went in at half time trailing 31-10 and would not add to their tally in the second half as Japan ran in a further six tries.

Taira scored two of these to complete his hat-trick, with Aruga claiming his second and scrum half Yuki Yatomi, replacement back row Ryota Asano and second row Lautangi Samurai Vatuevi also crossing for tries.

After the match Japan head coach John Kirwan addressed the crowd in Japanese from prepared notes to thank the fans for coming to watch the team and to also seek their support during the World Cup, when his side face Australia, Wales, Canada and Fiji in Pool B.

Kirwan, a World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 1987, will have further Tests against Italy in St Vincent on 18 August and then Portugal in Venice a week later as he seeks to end Japan’s 10-match losing streak at the World Cup in France.

The match may have been convincing won by Japan, but for the Asian Barbarians head coach Jarrad Gallagher the game achieved its aim and “was successful for the promotion of rugby in Asia”.

http://en.rugbyworldcup.com/home/news/newsid=52787.html#japan+strong+asian+barbarians
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Blwe_torch

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Re: Japan: News from the land of the Rising Sun
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 05:02:50 PM »

Kirwan tells his men to keep the faith
(Rugby News Service) Monday 3 September 2007

  Kirwan sees similarities between Japan and France's style of play

TOULOUSE, 3 September - Japan head coach John Kirwan's (NZL) key message to his team on the eve of the IRB Rugby World Cup is to maintain their self-belief.

Japan opens its campaign against Australia, then faces a tight turnaround against Fiji four days later in what looms as a crucial match to decide who  proceeds to the quarter-finals from Pool B.

"If they can believe in themselves and believe in the style of game that we play, then we will be successful," Kirwan said at a media conference in Toulouse on Sunday.

"As a nation we like to use the ball, we like to play a 15-man game and try and keep the ball alive as much as possible, and also play a fast and quick game, especially at the breakdown."

The former New Zealand wing sees similarities between Japan's style of play and that of the host nation.

"The French are famous for keeping the ball alive and using all 15 players, so I think the French people will understand that we are trying to play a game similar to the way that they play."

Japan's first match is against Australia on Saturday at the Gerland Stadium in Lyon.

RNS ir/sco/kb/mr

« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 05:05:05 PM by Blwe_torch »
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Blwe_torch

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Re: Japan: News from the land of the Rising Sun
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 05:10:16 PM »

Japanese star Ohata to miss World Cup
(Rugby News Service) Wednesday 29 August 2007


  Daisuke Ohata has now ruptured both Achilles tendons in 2007

Japan coach John Kirwan has been forced to make three changes to his 30-man squad for Rugby World Cup 2007 after losing players to injury, the most high profile of casualties being wing Daisuke Ohata with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Ohata, the world’s record try scorer in Test rugby, had only returned to the Japan side earlier this month after rupturing his right Achilles tendon in January, but suffered the same fate to his left Achilles in last weekend’s practice match against Portugal.

France would have been the third Rugby World Cup for the Japanese star, but he has now returned to Japan with his place in the squad being taken by Tomoki Kitagawa, the 24-year-old who has won only two caps in comparison to Ohata’s 58.

The loss of Ohata is not the only problem for Kirwan with fly half Eiji Ando ruled out on Tuesday after damaging ligaments in his right knee in the 15-13 defeat of Portugal in Venice, his place being taken by the uncapped wing cum fullback Tatsuya Kusumi.

Ando’s injury leaves 20-year-old Kosei Ono as the only recognised fly half in the Japan squad and with just four Tests to his name, while Kirwan had already been forced to replace hooker Mitsugu Yamamoto (hamstring) with Inokuchi Tako.

http://en.rugbyworldcup.com/home/news/newsid=53152.html#japanese+star+ohata+miss+world+cup
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Re: Japan: News from the land of the Rising Sun
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 06:36:38 PM »

Ono: Larkham doesn't have a weakness
(Rugby News Service) Wednesday 5 September 2007
By Shaunne Hughes



  Kosei Ono played for Christchurch Boys High School in New Zealand

COLOMIERS, 5 September - Japan's rookie fly half Kosei Ono believes Stephen Larkham (AUS) doesn't have any weaknesses as he prepares to confront the Wallabies star playmaker in Lyon on Saturday.

Larkham - with 101 Tests for Australia under his belt - made his IRB Rugby World Cup debut in 1999 while the 20-year-old Ono has been thrust into the playmaker's role following a knee injury to Japan's first-choice fly half Eiji Ando.

Ono, who has only four international caps to his name following his debut in April, has been brought up to speed on Larkham's attributes through detailed video analysis, but the diminutive fly half scoffs at any suggestion of a chink in the veteran's armour.

"He doesn't have any (weaknesses), he is a pretty solid player," said Ono, who has lived in New Zealand since the age of three, but recently returned to Japan.

"It is a privilege to play against someone of that calibre but we are not looking at individual players, we are looking at the Australian team in general during our preparation."

Larkham, 33, is expected to play in Australia's first two Pool B matches - against Japan in Lyon and a crucial clash with Wales in Cardiff - before being rested.

This gives Ono a golden opportunity to test himself against one of the world's best fly halves, although the Japanese backline will need to adjust to his style, which differs vastly to that of regular fly half Ando.

"I like to consider my kicking game as a strong point," Ono said. "Ando's got a very strong passing game."

http://en.rugbyworldcup.com/home/news/newsid=2003097.html#ono+larkham+doesnt+have+weakness
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