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Japan issue 'our guys are ready' warning to England

By PA
(Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Jamie Joseph has urged his Japan players to impose themselves at Twickenham on Saturday as they attempt to inflict another shock defeat on England. The Brave Blossoms fell to a narrow 38-31 loss to New Zealand in Tokyo last month, giving them the confidence to take on Eddie Jones’ men before facing France a week later.

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England, meanwhile, suffered a first defeat to Argentina in eleven Tests last Saturday to open the Autumn Nations Series on a sour note. “The Argentina game was their first match since July and no doubt they will take their learnings,” Japan head coach Joseph said.

But when it counts they are a very resilient team – they overcame the possibility of a series loss against Australia in July by winning two in a row. That’s the kind of team we are up against. We’re expecting a big match, but we play rugby differently and we know we have to deal with ball pressure.

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“The turning point for us will be if we can play our own brand of rugby. We have shown at times that when we get our own game going, we can create pressure as well. We look at England as a very different opposition to the All Blacks.

“It’s a cauldron at Twickenham and it can be very intimidating if you are not ready for it, but our guys are ready. They are really excited that they are going to be 23 men representing Japan in front of 80,000 Englishmen. I don’t believe we are under pressure. I don’t think anybody expects us to win but we have got 23 guys who are very motivated to do well.”

Joseph has made one change for the third meeting between the nations, with Gerhard van den Heever replacing Siosaia Fifita on the left wing.

JAPAN: R Yamanaka; K Matsushima, D Riley, R Nakamura, G Van den Heever T Yamasawa, Y Nagare; K Inagaki, A Sakate (capt), J Gu, W Dearns, J Cornelsen, M Leitch, K Himeno, T Tatafu. Reps: K Horikoshi, C Millar, Y Kizu, W Van der Walt, P Labuschagne, N Saito, S Lee, S Fifita.

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