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Jamie Joseph details how Japan plans to stun France in second test

By AAP
(Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

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Head coach Jamie Joseph says Japan must play a smarter and more balanced game in the second rugby test against France on Saturday if his team hopes to level the two-match series.

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Japan matched France in the first half of last weekend’s first test, going to half-time at 13-13 before eventually losing 42-23.

Joseph said Japan may have overplayed the running game in the second half and must be more calm and controlled on Saturday in Tokyo.

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Joseph has retained 21-year-old Seungshin Lee in the No.10 jersey after his solid first test performance while 69-test veteran flyhalf Yu Tamura, who missed the first match, will make his return via the bench.

Lock Takayasu Tsuji also has been named on the bench and he is expected to make his test debut.

Joseph has made changes in the second row, pairing New Zealand-born Warner Dearns with Sanaila Waqa while Australia-born Jack Cornelsen moves from lock to No.8.

“Last week we were able to play well and put pressure on France but in the second half we lost a bit of control and started overplaying at times,” Joseph said.

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“We won’t look to change how we play but will need to be a little smarter when we have the ball. It’s another big test match for us and we have to plan and prepare accordingly.”

France, who won the Six Nations this year, is looking for a 10th straight test win.

Coach Fabien Galthie has chosen 21-year-old fullback Max Spring to make his Test debut but otherwise has avoided changes to his winning first-Test combination.

Lock Thomas Jolmes and backrower Yoan Tanga have been retained after making their debuts in the first test.

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Galthie expects Japan to alter their tactics.

“In the end our strategy was a good one and we succeeded in winning the match,” he said. “But we imagine that Jamie Joseph and his staff will reconsider their tactics.”

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