Japan don’t want to be one-hit wonders

Eddie Jones says captain Michael Leitch and fullback Ayumu Goromaru will have to work even harder if Japan are to repeat their stunning win over South Africa when they face Scotland.

Leitch and Goromaru, who took the bold decision to go for a winning try rather than a safe draw in the final seconds against the Springboks, are among nine starters from that game retained by coach Jones for Wednesday’s Pool B clash.

Japan have already been rewarded for Saturday’s 34-32 victory by going above Scotland in the world rankings.

But Jones turned to cricket to highlight the task his side face in Gloucester.

“The start will be super important, we have to start early, but that can be hard after winning the previous game,” said Jones.

“To borrow a cricket analogy, if you score 100, when you come out in your next innings you have to work even harder.”

Jones, who is targeting a first quarter-final spot for the Brave Blossoms, has only three full days to ready Japan to play a fresh Scottish side playing their first game of the tournament.

“We do not have a lot of time but we are well prepared,” said 55-year-old Jones.

“We have made a lot of changes.”

Chief among those is freshening the front row that destroyed the Springboks trio of hooker Bismarck du Plessis, his prop brother Jannie and Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira, one of the most experienced in world rugby.

Props Keita Inagaki and Hiroshi Yamashita come in for Masatake Mikami and Kensuke Hatakeyama, who get some time on the bench after their sterling efforts.

“We are going to try once again to be at our best in terms of gaining ball from the scrum,” said Jones, referring to the front row changes.

“If we manage that, then we can get ourselves into contention for the game.”

Amanaki Mafi, who was very effective when he came on as a replacement in the second-half against the ‘Boks, gets a start at No.8 ahead of Hendrik Tui.

In the backs Harumichi Tatekawa moves from centre to five-eighth for the game with wing Akihito Yamada replaced by Kenki Fukuoka.

Jones, who it was announced on Monday will coach South African Super Rugby side Stormers, said there would be no resting on their laurels.

“We did not come here to be one-hit wonders,” said Jones.

Japan side to play Scotland:

Ayumu Goromaru, Kotaro Matsushima, Male Sau, Yu Tamura, Kenki Fukuoka, Harumichi Tatekawa, Fumiaki Tanaka, Amanaki Mafi, Michael Broadhurst, Michael Leitch (capt), Justin Ives, Luke Thompson, Hiroshi Yamashita, Shota Horie, Keita Inagaki.

Replacements: Takeshi Kizu, Masataka Mikami, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Shinya Makabe, Shoji Ito, Hendrik Tui, Atsushi Hiwasa, Karne Hesketh.

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