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Captain Michael Leitch states Japan are prepared to inspire the host country as they prepare to carry on Russia in the Rugby World Cup opener of Friday.
Japan beat Samoa, South Africa and the USA in the 2015 tournament missing out about the eight.
“We have got the opportunity to inspire Japan again. We’ve trained well, prepared well and this will be Japan’s best World Cup in history,” said Leitch, 30.
Rear row Amanaki Mafi and wing Kenki Fukuoka will miss the match to Japan.
Both picked up injuries in the heavy defeat South Africa earlier this month, with Fukuoka, scorer of all 21 tries in 34 Tests, struggling with a calf injury and Mafi hurting his shoulder.
A former Wales Ospreys and international boss, russia coach Lyn Jones, has included Sale prop Valery Morozov within his starting XV, one of just two players who play with their club rugby outside of Russia.
Second row Andrei Ostrikov, that transferred to Grenoble in the season’s end, is the other.
Former Northampton wing Vasily Artemyev, that currently plays for Krasny Yar, captains the side out of full-back.
Leitch says that the attention on the Western group is that he has experienced with the Brave Blossoms.
“This is no normal turnout,” he told a packed media conference.
“I’m so nervous I’ve been making all sorts of mistakes in coaching – there is so many people so many cameras. But I am pleased to be part of the World Cup and to be captain of the Japan rugby team.”
The game will be staged using the opening ceremony preceding kick-off of the tournament.
Japan beat Russia in the teams’ most recent assembly and also have been set the goal of creating a initial quarter-final by coach Jamie Joseph.
Japan coach Jamie Joseph:”I don’t read Japanese newspapers but I have never actually thought us to be the favourites for this match.
“I’d say we’re even going to this Test match and if we don’t play our best we’re going to fight.
“The team has ready and ever before and now we look forward to Friday night”
Japan: Tupou; Matsushima, Lafaele, Nakamura, Lemeki; Tamura Inagaki, Horie, Valu; Van der Walt, Moore; Labuschagne, Leitch, Himeno.
Replacements: Sakate, Nakajima, Ji-won, Thompson, Tui, Tanaka, Matsuda, Yamanaka
Russia: Artemyev Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Golosnitskiy Dorofeev; Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Fedotko, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin
Replacements: Matveev Bitiev, Garbuzov, Sychev Gaisin, Sozonov
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