Japan have made one injury-enforced change to the starting line-up for Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against South Africa.
The hosts have brought Ryohei Yamanaka in at fullback in place of William Tupou.
Tupou suffered a concussion in Japan’s win over Scotland in Yokohama last weekend and drops out of the match on day 23 altogether.
Coach Jamie Joseph has also made two changes to the forwards on the bench. Wimpie van der Walt and Amanaki Lelei Mafi replace fellow big men Uwe Helu and Hendrik Tui for what is likely to be a physical battle against the Springboks.
Loosehead prop Jiwon Koo was forced off the pitch against the Scots by a rib injury, but has recovered sufficiently to take his place in the front row.
Joseph gave reasons for the changes.
“Tupou had HIA last week against Scotland and he failed his medical protocol so he was ruled out of selection. So what they did is promote Yamanaka into the starting 15 and Lemeki on to the bench.”
Japan won the last World Cup meeting between the two teams famously four years ago in Brighton. But South Africa gained a certain level of revenge, overturning the hosts 41-7 in a World Cup warm-up match in September.
New Zealand play Ireland in in a quarter-final scheduled for Saturday, while England and Australia meet in another quarter-final match on the same day.
France and Wales will battle it out in another quarter-final on Sunday.
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