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Jamie Jospeh aims for Top 8 as he announce his World Cup Squad


The host of this years Rugby World Cup, Japan, has named their 31-man squad.

Coach Jamie Joseph have selected his strongest possible squad with Michael Leitch returning form injury to captain the team.

In his squad Joseph has included three South African player in Lappies Labuschagne and Wimpie van der Walt, who both been based in Japan long enough to have earned citizenship, and Kotaro Matsushima.

Labuschagne and van der Walt has earned citizenship. Matsushima was born in Pretoria and move to Japan in 2014.

Joseph and his team has set their goals to reach the top 8 of the competition in a pool which includes Ireland, Scotland, Russia and Samoa.

It would be a hell of achievement if they do make the playoffs. Scotland and Samoa will give them a run for their money as it is expected that Ireland will win the pool.

Joseph also believe that his team with a game that is based on speed, skill and structured game plan will give them a great chance to make the playoffs.

To play this kind of game you need to be fit enough and Joseph said that he believe they are.

Joseph will be hoping for the same magic Eddie Jones brought to the team in 2015 when his side surprise the world in beating the Springboks 34-32.
The games that will surely be targeted will be the Samoa and Scotland games as it is expected that they will win against Russia.

Japan 201 Rugby World Cup squad:

Forwards (18)

Keita Inagaki, Yusuke Kizu, Koo Ji-won, Isileli Nakajima, Asaeli Ai Valu, Takuya Kitade, Atsushi Sakata, Shota Horie, Luke Thompson, Wimpie van der Walt, Uwe Helu, James Moore, Hendrik Tui, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Michael Leitch (captain), Lappies Labuschagne, Kazuki Himeno, Amanaki Mafi

Backs (13)

Kaito Shigeno, Fumiaki Tanaka, Yutaka Nagare, Yu Tamura, Rikiya Matsuda, Kenki Fukuoka, Ataata Moeakiola, Lomano Lemeki, William Tupou, Ryoto Nakamura, Timothy Lafaele, Kotaro Matsushima, Ryohei Yamanaka

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