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Lappies included in final Brave Blossoms World Cup squad

NEWS: Brave Blossoms coach Jamie Joseph has made four changes to the original World Cup squad for Japan that was announced three days ago.

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Lock James Moore has been withdrawn from the squad due to conditioning issues which opened the door to include four new names on the final list that would be going to the World Cup.

He has drafted three locks in Uwe Helu, Warner Dearns and Amanaki Saumaki, as well as flank Lappies Labuschagne.

Labuschagne was named despite the red card he picked up against the Fijians that will see him miss Japan’s last warm-up game and its World Cup opener.

Dearns, who like the uncapped Saumaki will be appearing at his first World Cup, has recovered from injuries to his shoulder and ankle and his inclusion will be most welcome given the withdrawal of Moore due to what the JRFU described as “bad condition.”

Helu and Labuschagne return for their second World Cup after having been part of Japan’s 2019 home World Cup squad, while the towering Dearns and the uncapped Saumaki are set to feature in their first Rugby World Cup.

The Brave Blossoms will depart Japan on August 19 ahead of their final World Cup warm-up match against Italy in Treviso on Saturday, August 26.

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The team then heads to their Official Base Camp in Toulouse to prepare for their opening Pool D match against Chile on Sunday, September 10 at Stadium de Toulouse.

They then face England on Sunday, September 17 at Stade de Nice before returning to Stadium de Toulouse to take on Samoa on Thursday, September 28.

The Brave Blossom’s final pool match will be against Argentina on Sunday, October 8 at Stade de la Beaujoire, in Nantes.

Japan squad

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Forwards:

Keita Inagaki, Craig Millar, Sione Halasili, Jiwon Gu, Shinnosuke Kakinaga, Asaeli Ai Valu, Shota Horie , Atsushi Sakate , Kosuke Horikoshi, Jack Cornelsen , Shota Fukui , Kazuki Himeno, Michael Leitch, Ben Gunter, Warner Dearns, Uwe Helu, Lappies Labuschagne, Amanaki Saumaki

Backs:

Naoto Saito , Yutaka Nagare , Kenta Fukuda, Lee Seung-sin, Rikiya Matsuda , Jumpei Ogura, Siosaia Fifita, Semisi Masirewa, Jone Naikabula, Lomano Lava Lemeki, Ryoto Nakamura , Tomoki Osada , Shogo Nakano , Dylan Riley, Kotaro Matsushima

 

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