All change for Japan and Sunwolves as they rotate several players between the two squads ahead of the Brave Blossoms’ training camp and practice games in New Zealand later this month.
Six players including Fumiaki Tanaka and promising stand-off Takuya Yamasawa, who is uncapped in Super Rugby, join the Sunwolves squad from Japan’s training camp in Okinawa. Grant Hattingh, Takuma Asahara, Ji-won Koo and Ryohei Yamanaka are four further players that will link up with the Sunwolves squad ahead of their Friday night match against the Lions.
Going the other way are Jamie Henry, Rikiya Matsuda, James Moore and Asaeli Ai Valu, who all depart the Sunwolves squad temporarily to join Jamie Joseph in Okinawa.
Meanwhile, prop Masataka Mikami and experienced centre Harumichi Tatekawa have both joined the Sunwolves team directly. It will be Tatekawa’s fourth season with the Japanese franchise as he becomes just the third player after Kaito Shigeno and Edward Quirk to feature in every season of Super Rugby for the Sunwolves.
There is expected to be further squad news following Sunwolves’ game against Lions this Friday, with Japan’s Rugby World Cup training squad jetting off to New Zealand the following day for their final fixed training camp, before all players become available to feature for the Sunwolves.