Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has confirmed a 31-man squad for the upcoming World Cup on their home soil that kicks-off next month.
Luke Thompson will feature in his fourth World Cup after being part of 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions as he would look to add to his 65 Test caps. Michael Leitch on his second World Cup will captain the squad with Atsushi Sakate the only uncapped player.
“The team has set a goal of making the top eight for the first time in the history of Japanese rugby,” said Joseph.
“The staff and players will give 150 percent – whether that’s enough only time will tell.
“Our game is based around speed, skill and structure,” he added. “But the key difference this year is we’re fit enough now to play that game. We’re training at a level of intensity that’s 25 percent higher than our matches – I think that’s our key weapon.”
Japan will face Russia, Ireland, Samoa and Scotland in the World Cup.
Japan's World Cup squad:
Forwards: 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 (c), Pieter Labuschagne, Kazuki Himeno, Amanaki Mafi
Backs: 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