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and there have been mixed results. 'It has simmered down since 2015

Time:2018-11-17 09:39Shoes websites Click:

England since Have Japan South

The last occasion Japan
visited England they pulled off the greatest shock in rugby – maybe even sporting – history by beating South Africa
at the 2015 World Cup.
Their coach from that day, Eddie Jones
, will be in the home dressing room this Saturday, many of the players have moved on, and Japan are looking to blossom new flowers a year out from hosting their own World Cup next year.
But what has happened in Japanese rugby since? Who are their key men to watch on Saturday? And can they pull off another miracle?
Here Sportsmail
 guides you through England's opponents – with the help of the head coach Jamie Joseph, and Tokyo-based journalist Rich Freeman who has covered the Japan side for more than 20 years.
Japan stunned the world three years ago, but it has been all change since. Coach Eddie Jones joined the Stormers in Cape Town after that tournament – but was then nicked by England, where he has been since.
Vast swathes of the squad have moved on too, and there have been mixed results.
'It has simmered down since 2015,' said head coach and former All Black Jamie Joseph.
'There was a real rugby fever after the World Cup. The majority of those players have moved on now so we have had to rebuild and bring new guys through.
'Expectation internally in Japan is always high. Every team I have coached there is always expected to win.'
Japan have played 25 Tests since 2015, won 14, lost 10 and drawn one – mostly beating fellow Tier Two nations.
'There has been a drop-off,' added Freeman who writes for Kyodo News in Japan.
'Japan loves winners, so when the women's football team won the World Cup a few years ago that became the flavour of the year – and everyone was talking about women's football. Since they have lost a few games and they don't even get on TV.
'Rugby has certainly increased its profile because of the World Cup – the players are household names, are on TV shows and like a lot of things in Japan there are hard-core fans who are absolutely passionate and will travel to games across the country.
'There will be quite a few flying over to England. For the public it is still behind football and baseball in terms of mass appeal.'
Heavy defeats don't help. Japan lost 54-20 to Argentina in 2016, and then 63-30 to Australia in 2017 – but there have been moments to celebrate. 
Italy were defeated 34-17 in June, Japan kept Georgia scoreless and beat them 28-0 too, and last November they drew 23-all to France and beat Tonga 39-6.
But Freeman said they flip-flop between bad and brilliant.
'There are moments where you think things are going very well and then… people talk about the five tries they scored against the All Blacks a fortnight ago.
'It was a second-string All Black side and the worrying thing is that they conceded 10.
'You are not going beat Scotland and Ireland and get the quarter-finals of the World Cup if you do that.
'After Eddie there is much more belief in the team that they aren't just going to get beaten.
'In the past they would go onto the field expecting to lose and that's what worried me about the game last week – everyone talked about the five tries and isn't-it-wonderful but it was like going back to the old days, they play exciting rugby but get hammered.
'Eddie would not have been happy with that performance against New Zealand.'
Japan's nickname came about 15 years ago – as Freeman explains.
'They used to be called the Cherry Blossoms,' he said.
'Then when they performed well against Scotland in the 2003 World Cup in Townsville (lost 32-11) there was a group of us – a few Scottish journalists and myself – who started calling them the 'Brave Blossoms'.
'The Japan Rugby Football Union didn't want to adopt it at first but it is now something that they use on their promotional campaigns.'
Nine in all are in the wider squad for this tour.
In the backs there is scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka, fly-half Yu Tamura and wings Kenki Fukuoka and Akihito Yamada.
And in the forwards No 8 Hendrik Tui, captain Michael Leitch and a trio of props Hiroshi Yamashita, Keita Inagaki and Masataka Mikami.
Not while with Japan. In Sportsmail
this week we reported that the Japanese players will only receive 2000 yen a day on tour – a touch more than £13.
Joseph said: 'They do it because they want to play a high level of rugby that they don't get in Japan. If you put that altogether we have got different motivators and we just want to get out and leave our footprint behind.'
Freeman explains the situation: 'In Japan the money is with the company sides, not the Union who are struggling big-time.
'They rely on the Super Rugby side the Sunwolves and the Sunwolves rely on the companies – like Toyota and Panasonic that own the club sides – to give them players for nothing.
'The companies pay the players' wages. What happens is when you join a company side the majority of the Japanese join as a company employee, not as a rugby player.
'So technically they have a job for life with that company, it is difficult for them to leave that company and play for another side, and they are technically employed as a salesman or in the factory.
'Whereas the 'foreign' players who play for Japan – like the captain Michael Leitch – are full-time rugby players.'
Japan were famous for their rapid style of play at the 2015 World Cup.
Not blessed with huge players, they nipped around the field playing cleverly, moving the ball away from rucks quickly and efficiently, trying to avoid major collisions.
Joseph says things have evolved.
'I'm not sure we can run away from the big boys,' he said.
'One to 15 they are pretty big compared to our blokes.
'At the end of the day rugby is pretty simple, you have got to create momentum from set piece and that is our first challenge and we are working on that.
'When we can do that we can score some tries and we did that against the All Blacks and we have done it against tier one teams, France and Wales.'
Freeman notes the changes in their game-plan.
Saturday, November 17
3pm (GMT)
TV channel:
Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action 
'They rely a lot more on a kicking game now,' he said.
'Under Eddie it was pure fitness, looking for space, attacking with ball in hand. They kicked occasionally but not nearly as much as they do now.
'New Zealander attack coach Tony Brown has always liked a game-management game-plan.
'His Highlanders side kicked the most when they won the Super Rugby title in 2015 and had the least amount of possession.
'That is what they seemed to have installed with Japan, they tend to like to kick. Whether that is suited to the team is something that is to be determined.'
Age 24 Height: 6ft 2in Weight: 17st 0lbs Caps: 7
He is a young player in his second year of professional rugby. Coached by 2007 World Cup winning South Africa coach Jake White at Toyota Verblitz, has played for the Sunwolves and is a very good ball-carrying back-row forward. He's certainly a player with potential who could do well.
Age: 26 Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 13st 0lb Caps: 28
Lightning quick superstar on the wing. He has scored 17 tries in 27 Tests for Japan and played in the Scotland game at the 2015 World Cup. His club is the Panasonic Wild Knights, but he plays for the Sunwolves in Super Rugby.
Age: 33 Height: 6ft 0in Weight: 13st 12lbs Caps: 24
A quick, elusive runner who scored at the last World Cup against Samoa. He also has tries against Wales in Cardiff and Ireland in Tokyo. In his first Super Rugby season for the Sunwolves in 2016 he scored nine tries – he is a very good finisher but has been injured a bit.
With some bookmakers Japan are 200-1 to win against England.
'I don't think there are many in this country who think we can do it,' said Joseph.
'I would have to say on current form they don't have a chance,' added Freeman.
'With the South Africa win obviously they had five months to prepare.
'They're missing guys like Shota Horie and Michael Broadhurst has retired.
'They are some key players missing so I just don't see them having the depth or experience, but I probably said the same thing in Brighton three years ago!' 


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