Japan skipper craves historic victory over top-ten team

Japan's Takashi Kikutani. Picture: Toru Hanai (Reuters)
Japan's Takashi Kikutani. Picture: Toru Hanai (Reuters)
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Japan’s rugby skipper today targeted a historic victory over Scotland in Saturday’s opening viagogo Autumn rugby Test at Murrayfield.

Japan have yet to beat a top-ten rated nation away from home.

After being named in a line-up that has three changes compared to last weekend’s 6-54 loss to the All Blacks in Tokyo, winger Toshiaki Hirose said: “It’s going to be fun playing in such a great stadium as Murrayfield.”

But he added: “I’m looking forward to showing everyone the Japan way of rugby and for us to make history and beat a top-ten nation away from home for the first time.”

Changes to the Japan side see Luke Thompson and Shinya Makabe replacing Hitoshi Ono and Shoji Ito in the second row, while Kosei Ono comes in at the stand-off position in place of Harumichi Tatekawa, who was forced to pull out of his country’s European tour as the result of an injury. New stand off Kosei Ono, however, as sounded a rallying call, saying: “We want to move the ball and play at pace.”

Among the substitutes, aside from Hitoshi Ono dropping down to the bench, the one other change sees Atsushi Hiwasa named as reserve scrum half after Kosei Ono had been asked to cover both half back positions last weekend.

Japan: Ayuma Goromaru, Tohiaki Hirose (captain), Male Sa’u, Craig Wing, Kenki Fukuoka, Kosei Ono, Fumiaki Tanakaa, Masataka Mimami, Shota Horie, Kensuke Hatekayama, Luke Thompson, Shinya Makabe, Hendrik Tui, Ryu Koliniasi, Michael Broadhurst. Subs: Yusuke Aoki, Yasuke Nagae, Hiroshi Yamashita, Hitoshi Ono, Takashi Kikutani, Atsushi Hiwasa, Yu Tamura, Yoshikazu Fujita.