John Kirwan announces Japan’s 30-man squad for 2011 Rugby World Cup Campaign – Rugby News
Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has announced Japan’s final 30-man squad for their 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) campaign. Japan’s head coach, John Kirwan, listed his squad in a statement release
on JRFU’s official website on Monday, August 22.
Kirwan’s squad is a combination of 16 forwards and 14 backs. Most of the players in the final squad were part of the Japanese team which lifted the 2011 Asian Five Nations and International
Rugby Board’s (IRB) 2011 Pacific Nations Cup titles.
Kirwan has expressed his delight on the squad. He termed the squad as a good mixture of youth and experience. He further added, “We have spent the last four years outing the team together and
everyone understands how we want to play.”
The 33-year-old duo of Hirotoki Onozawa and Hitoshi Ono are the oldest players in the final 30 – man squad, while the 22-year-old Michael Leitch is the youngest player in the squad.
Kirwan further added, “This is a well established team but they will need to prepare as it will be pretty intense over there. It’s important that we achieve the goals we set four years ago
and that means being competitive in the first two games and winning the last two.”
Toyota Verblitz flanker Takeshi Kikutani is appointed that the captain of the side, which includes 10 foreign based players. The most notable of the foreign players is the duo of the James
Arlidge and Shaun Webb.
Japan is placed in the Pool A of the 2011 RWC tournament. Other teams in the Pool A include the hosts All Blacks, France, Tonga and Canada.
Kirwan has expressed his confidence that his side can win their tool pool matches against the Tongan and Canadian sites. He added that good performances against the All Blacks and Les Blues,
will certainly come handy to achieve their ultimate objective of winning two of their four Pool matches.
The Japans’ final 30-man squad for their 2011 RWC campaign comprises of following,
Forwards: Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers) Naoki Kawamata (Panasonic Wild Knights), Yusuke Aoki (Suntory Sungoliath), Shota Horie (Panasonic Wild Knights), Hiroki Yuhara (Toshiba
Brave Lupus), Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory Sungoliath), Nozomu Fujita (Honda Heat), Hitoshi c(Toshiba Brave Lupus), Toshizumi Kitagawa (Toyota Verblitz), Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners), Justin Ives (Panasonic Wild Knights), Takashi Kikutani (Toyota Verblitz),
Michael Leitch (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Sione Vatuvei (Panasonic Wild Knights), Ryukoliniasi Holani (Panasonic Wild Knights), Itaru Taniguchi (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers).
Backs: Fumiaki Tanaka (Panasonic Wild Knights), Tomoki Yoshida (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath), James Arlidge (Nottingham), Murray Williams (Toyota Industries Shuttles),
Yuta Imamura (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers), Ryan Nicholas (Suntory Sungoliath), Koji Taira (Suntory Sungoliath), Alisi Tupuailai (Canon Eagles), Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory Sungoliath), Kosuke Endo (Toyota Verblitz), Takehisa Usuzuki (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Shaun
Webb (Coca-Cola West Red), Taihei Ueda (Honda Heat).