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British & Irish Lions vs Japan, 26 June

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Post by George Carlin Sat 22 May 2021, 11:14 am

First topic message reminder :

British & Irish Lions vs Japan, 26 June  - Page 8 Lions_10                     British & Irish Lions vs Japan, 26 June  - Page 8 Japan_10
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS v JAPAN
Saturday 26th June
3:00pm KO
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Channel 4 Live

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite, Pierre Brousset
TMO: Eric Gauzins

TEAMS:

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
09. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

01. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
02. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
03. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
04. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
05. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
06. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
07. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) #786
08. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

JAPAN:

15. Ryohei YAMANAKA
14. Kotaro MATSUSHIMA
13. Timothy LAFAELE
12. Ryoto NAKAMURA
11. Siosaia FIFITA
10. Yu TAMURA
09. Kaito SHIGENO

08. Amanaki Lelei MAFI
07. Pieter LABUSCHAGNE
06. Michael LEITCH (c)
05. James MOORE
04. Wimpie VAN DER WALT
03. Jiwon KOO
02. Atsushi SAKATE
01. Keita INAGAKI

16. Kosuke HORIKOSHI
17. Craig MILLAR
18. Asaeli Ai VALU
19. Jack CORNELSEN
20. Kazuki HIMENO
21. Tevita TATAFU
22. Naoto SAITO
23. Rikiya MATSUDA

COMMENTARY:

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has named 21 uncapped players in a 52-man training squad – his first squad announcement since the 2019 World Cup – ahead of the nation’s historic clash with the British and Irish Lions in June. The Brave Blossoms are scheduled to face the Lions at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on June 26 in what will be the first-ever clash between the two sides.

Joseph has called on a mix of his 2019 World Cup stars, uncapped players, homegrown talent and foreign imports to prepare for the match. 21 members of the World Cup squad, such as standout wing Kotaro Matsushima and captain Michael Leitch, have been recalled back into the training camp.

18 of those players were part of the match day side that featured in Japan’s first-ever World Cup quarter-final appearance in Tokyo two years ago, a match the Brave Blossoms lost 26-3 to eventual champions South Africa.

Among the cohort of uncapped prospects included in Joseph’s enlarged squad, there are a raft of names that will be familiar to Super Rugby fans.

Former Highlanders prop Craig Millar, who moved to Japan to join the Sunwolves in 2018, is one such player, as are ex-Blues lock Liaki Moli. The pair join the likes of former Hurricanes lock Mark Abbott, ex-Southern Kings midfielder Shane Gates and experienced outside back Gerhard van den Heever as uncapped foreigners who have completed residency requirements in order to become eligible for Japan.

All five players have subsequently been named in Joseph’s squad, as have three Australian youngsters – Dylan Riley, Jack Cornelsen and Ben Gunter – who are all one step closer to switching their allegiance to Japan.

Other notable uncapped players to have earned selection include those who have starred in the domestic Top League competition.

Tongan-born Kobelco Steelers No 8 Lui Naeata, who stands at 1.93m and 118kg, has been a dominant force for the reigning Top League champions since joining the club in 2018. As a result, the 27-year-old has been handed a maiden call-up to the national side and will compete with Highlanders star Kazuki Himeno, Canon Eagles powerhouse Amanaki Mafi and Suntory Sungoliath behemoth Tevita Tatafu for a place at the back of the scrum.

Likewise, halfback Naoto Saito has been in fine form while working in tandem with Beauden Barrett as halves partners at Suntory Sungoliath this season, and the 23-year-old is one of three scrumhalves in line for a potential test debut.

Based on the performances he has seen throughout the Top League this season, Joseph said he was “excited” for his side’s chances in the upcoming fixture, even if it has been 18 months since Japan last played a test match.

“It’s been a long time coming since our last squad announcement and I am very excited about our upcoming challenge against the British and Irish Lions,” he said in a statement.

“It will be a very special occasion for the team to play the Lions for the first time ever. Announcing this squad is the first step in our preparation.

“The 2021 Top League has produced some great team performances and the competition between the teams is a lot closer than past years which is great for the development of the game in Japan.”

Joseph added the Lions clash presents his uncapped players with a chance to prove their worth on the test scene following the departures of former senior players.

Two days after the announcement of the final squad to travel to the Scottish capital, the selected players will assemble for a 12-day training camp in Beppu, Oita between May 26 and June 8.

The Brave Blossoms will then play a warm-up match against a Sunwolves select in Shizuoka on June 12 before flying out to Scotland on June 16.


Last edited by George Carlin on Fri 25 Jun 2021, 12:21 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by George Carlin Sun 27 Jun 2021, 6:11 am

I have no problem with Navidi really as he's been playing well and this will have been Tandy's call, I would think. My preference would have been for Jamie Ritchie as I think he offers more but its a 50:50.

Beard is a slightly strange one - he's a wonderful line out operator and I suspect is why he may have been given the nod over Little Jon as presumably Ken Owens is looking more and more like the starting hooker.


Last edited by George Carlin on Sun 27 Jun 2021, 6:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by George Carlin Sun 27 Jun 2021, 6:12 am

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 27 Jun 2021, 6:45 am

George Carlin wrote:I have no problem with Navidi really as he's been playing well and this will have been Tandy's call, I would think. My preference would have been for Jamie Ritchie as I think he offers more but its a 50:50.

Beard is a slightly strange one - he's a wonderful line out operator and I suspect is why he may have been given the nod over Little Jon as presumably Ken Owens is looking more and more like the starting hooker.
Maybe Gatland thinks Murray might not need to be substituted during a game compared to Owens. Not a knock on Owens, just a thought.


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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 27 Jun 2021, 8:12 am

Probably, plus Gatland seems to like very diplomatic captains. Guys that say the right thing to the media, team mates, opponents and to refs without any controversy. Someone fairly mild mannered. Murray fits that mould.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 27 Jun 2021, 8:14 am

doctor_grey wrote:
BigGee wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Ken Owens should be captain, he is the best option. Played well today and a nailed on test starter.

Cowan-Dickie is the better hooker so not sure about guaranteed starter.

This comment aged badly very quickly.


Depends on LCD's progression through the protocols. If George shows some form in the friendlies then he could overtake Owens just as easily as Owens could be first choice. There's very little between the three hookers.

LCD was out cold, hard to see him playing for a couple of weeks at best. He should also be under reasonably close observation for 24-48 hours. may not be fit to fly tomorrow.
He sure seemed to be out cold, and absolutely should not fly tomorrow.  Maybe not for a week.  If there is any remote chance of any intercranial bleeding, putting him on a plane is medical malfeasance (at best).  We went though this with two NY area NFL players this past season.  One doc I know fairly well was going to let one of the guys fly to a game on the west coast, but a neurosurgeon intervened and promised to lobotomize anyone who let the young man travel.  Since he was also ex-army (American, not Her Majesty's), people relented.   After later evaluations a few days later he wasn't allowed to play for four weeks.  Let's see....

Agreed he really shouldn't fly tomorrow. As I said depends on the protocols. He might be fine in a week and fly out and take the 2 shirt or he might need to stand down for a period. It's hard to say without being on the medical staff. I suspect the Lions are monitoring the situation closely as they might need to add another option.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 27 Jun 2021, 10:38 am

The Oracle wrote:Adam Beard anyone?!

I was actually joking when I wrote this! Not that I think he’s a bad player just that I thought there would be a number of players ahead of him. Hmmm.
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Post by BigGee Sun 27 Jun 2021, 10:50 am

Well Gats clearly rates him.

Good luck to him but i do feel bad for Ryan (injured) and Gray, who seems to have been overlooked.

Still, i doubt those two will be the last injuries unfortunately. We may still have move debates to have about other replacements.

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Post by RDW Sun 27 Jun 2021, 10:52 am


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Post by king_carlos Sun 27 Jun 2021, 6:56 pm

BigGee wrote:Well Gats clearly rates him.

Good luck to him but i do feel bad for Ryan (injured) and Gray, who seems to have been overlooked.

Still, i doubt those two will be the last injuries unfortunately. We may still have move debates to have about other replacements.

There was talk of whether a punt would be taken on Manu Tuilagi before he got injured again but the player I'd take a punt on in these circumstances is George Kruis. He was playing in Japanese Top League up until last month when the season ended, he's fit and was by most accounts playing well. He's a very good lineout leader as well which the Lions need to replace AWJ. Plus he's already a test Lion.

Some will say he shouldn't be selected whilst in Japan but Malcolm Mark, Franco Mostert and Willie le Roux will almost certainly feature for the Boks in the tests and they've been selected from form in the same league.

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