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The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of World Cup 2023

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Koroibete out to maintain tryscoring touch in Japan

(Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete will be hoping to return to his tryscoring ways when the Saitama Wild Knights take on the Green Rockets in Japan Rugby League One this weekend.


New Australia coach Eddie Jones will be keeping a close eye on the form of the Fijian flyer, who is expected to play a pivotal part in the World Cup squad this year.

Koroibete has scored three tries in his previous two matches for the unbeaten Knights but was contained by the Yokohama Eagles defence in round six.

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Sunday’s clash will also pit former Wallabies and Super Rugby-winning coaches Michael Cheika and Robbie Deans against each other, albeit for just the second time in their careers.

Deans won their first encounter when the Knights beat the Rockets last year.

While Cheika largely carries out his Japanese duties from afar with former Sydney University coach Rob Taylor his supervisor on the ground, Deans is hands on at Saitama.

His expertise has led the Knights to five titles in Japan, the same number he won with the Crusaders.


The two-time defending champions are already looking ominous this year, with a last-gasp 21-19 victory over Yokohama – their sixth win of the campaign – in the previous round.

The Rockets and former Wallaby halfback Nick Phipps face a herculean task with Cheika’s men drawing a blank in last weekend’s 21-0 loss to the Shizuoka Blue Revs, going scoreless in the second half in two straight losses.

In other Division One matches, Bernard Foley’s Kubota Spears Tokyo Bay visit Steve Hansen’s Verblitz and the Peter Hewat-coached Black Rams line up at Yokohama.

Will Genia’s Hanazono Liners welcome the Blue Revs to Osaka while the Sagamihara Dynaboars host the Kobe Steelers.


Tokyo Sungoliath prepares for their biggest game of the year against local rivals Brave Lupus Tokyo.

With both sides in hot form, and sitting third and fourth on the competition ladder, Sunday’s derby should add another significant chapter to their storied 43-year rivalry.


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