Rugby World Cup: Japan skipper Michael Leitch promises side’s best-ever World Cup

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Captain Michael Leitch says Japan are all set as they ready to take on Russia from the Rugby World Cup opener of Friday to inspire the host country.
Japan beat South Africa, Samoa and the USA at the 2015 championship , narrowly missing out in the eight.
“We have got the chance to inspire Japan again. We’ve trained well, ready well and this will be Japan’s best World Cup ever,” said Leitch, 30.
Wing Kenki Fukuoka and row Amanaki Mafi will overlook the game for Japan.
Both picked up accidents in the heavy defeat by South Africa earlier this month, with Fukuoka, scorer of all 21 attempts in 34 Tests, suffering a calf injury and Mafi hurting his shoulder.
A former Wales boss, russia coach Lyn Jones, has comprised Sale prop Valery Morozov within his starting XV, one of just two players who play with their club rugby outside of Russia.
Secondly row Andrei Ostrikov, who transferred to Grenoble in the season’s close from Sale, is another.
Former Northampton wing Vasily Artemyev, who plays for Krasny Yar, captains the side out of full-back.
Leitch says that the focus on the group is unlike anything that he has undergone with all the Brave Blossoms.
“That is no normal turnout,” he told a packed media conference.
“I’m so nervous I’ve been making a variety of mistakes in coaching – there is so many people so many cameras. But I am pleased to be part of this World Cup and to be captain of the Japan rugby team.”
The game will be staged with the opening ceremony of the tournament, in the near 50,000-capacity Tokyo Stadium.
Japan beat Russia from the groups’ latest interview and also have been set the goal of earning a initial.
Japan trainer Jamie Joseph:”I never see Japanese papers but I’ve never actually thought us are the favorites for this game.
“I’d say we were going into this Test match and if we don’t play our best we’re likely to struggle.
“The team has ready as well as ever before and we look forward to Friday night.”
Japan: Tupou; Matsushima, Lafaele Lemeki; Tamura Inagaki Valu; Moore, Van der Walt; Labuschagne, Leitch, Himeno.
Replacements: Sakate Ji-won Tui Matsuda, Yamanaka
Russia: Artemyev; Davydov, Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Golosnitskiy; Kushnarev, Dorofeev; Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Fedotko, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin
Replacements: Matveev, Polivalov, Bitiev Sychev, Perov, Gaisin, Sozonov
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