Oita – Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper warned his crew in opposition to taking Japan flippantly, calling the Courageous Blossoms “no joke,” with threats throughout the park.
Australia faces Japan in Oita on Saturday, a short layover on the best way to Nice Britian for assessments in opposition to Scotland, England and Wales in successive weeks.
However Hooper, the 115-test veteran, who performed in Japan for Toyota Verblitz this 12 months, mentioned the Wallabies’ solely focus was on successful a fifth straight check.
“It’s necessary to continue to grow,” he mentioned because the crew appears to be like to construct on 4 wins within the latest Rugby Championship — two every in opposition to world champion South Africa and Argentina.
“A win can be a product of us specializing in what we have to concentrate on to beat these guys.”
Below the tutelage of former All Black Jamie Joseph, Japan made the quarterfinals at its dwelling World Cup in 2019 and put up stirring performances in opposition to the British and Irish Lions and Eire earlier this 12 months.
Hooper mentioned it proved the caliber of the Japanese crew.
“They play a high-tempo sport,” he mentioned. “They need ball in play, they’ll look to run issues so much.”
“They’ve acquired some actually good athletes, a cell crew. It is going to be an actual problem to nullify that pace and to take them to some locations that they’re uncomfortable with.
“They’re no joke, the Japanese are a strong crew with threats throughout the board.”
Australia will enter the match with the added incentive of attempting to earn its first win away from dwelling since Dave Rennie took over as coach.
Rennie signaled his intentions by naming a robust facet, with Hunter Paisami recalled as cowl for the injured Samu Kerevi and Tom Wright in for star winger Marika Koroibete, who shouldn’t be touring.
The opposite two modifications to the beginning facet that beat Argentina 32-17 this month sees Matt Philip return to the second row and his Melbourne Rebels teammate Rob Leota recalled at blindside flanker.
Whereas Australia is accustomed to nighttime matches, Saturday’s conflict will kick off at 1:45 p.m, one thing Hooper admitted can be a brand new idea for a few of his gamers.
“What’s distinctive about it’s, you get up and have breakfast after which the pregame meal is about an hour or two later,” he mentioned.
“So simply getting an understanding about how that options in every man’s preparation. We’re all completely different and guys will love to do it in another way. So we have to have a plan round that.”
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