Japan unveil matchday squad for encounter against Australia

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph
Japan head coach Jamie Joseph
©Steve Haag

Australian-born trio Jack Cornelsen, Ben Gunter and Dylan Riley are in line to make their debut for Japan as they set to take on the Wallabies in Oita on Saturday.

Jack, son of former Australia international Greg Cornelsen, will start at second row partnering with James Moore. Meanwhile, Gunter will start at blindside flanker with new skipper Pieter Labuschagne at openside and Kazuki Himeno positioned at number eight.

Winger Riley will make his debut for the Brave Blossoms when he comes of the bench which also has Michael Leitch.

The front row comprises of Koo Ji-won, Atsushi Sakate and Keita Inagaki while Rikiya Matsuda will take over the kicking responsibility forming halfback partnership with Yutaka Nagare.

Siosaia Fifita starts at left wing with Lomano Lemeki at right while Timothy Lafaele and Ryoto Nakamura form midfield partnership with Semisi Masirewa starting at fullback.

"For the Australian guys, this is going to be a special game for them, for obvious reasons," said Joseph.

"There was a wee bit of ... is this the right match for them to play, but for us we're building a new team and it's important we look toward the future.

"They're still young men who have come over here and have shown the right skills that we think we need so it's a great opportunity to put them up against their countrymen and let them go out and prove a few points.

"I know they're very excited about it and I'm expecting great performances from them."

Japan: 15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Siosaia Fifita, 10 Rikiya Matsuda, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne (c), 6 Ben Gunter, 5 James Moore, 4 Jack Cornelsen, 3 Koo Ji-won, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Keita Inagaki

Reserves: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Michael Leitch, 20 Tevita Tatafu, 21 Naoto Saito, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Dylan Riley