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Michael Leitch dropped to bench as Japan names squad for Australia test

Flanker Ben Gunter will make his nationwide workforce debut instead of former captain Michael Leitch when 2019 Rugby World Cup host Japan faces Australia in Oita on Saturday.

Gunter, who was raised Australia, will associate with new captain Pieter Labuschagne and New Zealand-based Kazuki Himeno within the again row, with Leitch dropping to the bench.

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph mentioned he was on the lookout for unfastened forwards with the talents to “play the sport at velocity,” and described Gunter as a participant “with potential.”

“Being Australian and representing Japan, taking part in in opposition to his countrymen might be one thing particular for him,” Joseph mentioned.

However the coach additionally mentioned Leitch could have an vital function to play coming off the bench.

“We’re going to wish his expertise and we’re going to wish all people if we’re going to win this check match,” Joseph mentioned.

Rikiya Matsuda is available in to interchange Yu Tamura at fly-half for Japan, which can solely be taking part in its third match because the World Cup two years in the past. The match in Oita might be Japan’s first at dwelling since dropping to South Africa within the World Cup quarterfinals.

Gunter is the one new cap within the beginning lineup, however wing Siosaia Fifita, fullback Semisi Masirewa and lock Jack Cornelsen all made their debuts this yr.

Japan misplaced to the British and Irish Lions and Eire on a summer season tour to Europe.

World Cup scrumhalf Yutaka Nagare returns after lacking these video games for private causes.

Labuschagne takes over from Leitch as captain, and Joseph mentioned the South Africa-born flanker was already making an impression.

“He’s discovering his approach,” Joseph mentioned. “I’m certain he’ll present by his efficiency the type of chief he might be.”

Hunter Paisami has been recalled for Australia, changing Samu Kerevi at inside middle after the explosive midfielder didn’t recuperate from an ankle damage in time for Saturday’s conflict.

Tom Wright has changed Jordan Petaia on the wing after a energetic cameo off the bench in a 32-17 win over Argentina three weeks in the past.

Rob Leota slots in at blindside flanker, pushing Pete Samu to the bench, whereas lock Matt Philip has been promoted to associate with Izack Rodda within the second row within the different change to Dave Rennie’s beginning lineup.

Since leaving the squad for the delivery of his daughter, Paisami has needed to bide his time as he waited to interrupt again into the aspect, with Kerevi in dominant kind by a lot of the Rugby Championship.

“He’ll play his personal recreation, he’s explosive and highly effective,” Rennie mentioned of the Queensland Reds participant.

“Not a complete lot adjustments actually … We predict it will likely be seamless.”

ACT Brumbies hooker Connal McInerney will hope to make his check debut off the bench, having changed Lachlan Lonergan as Rennie continues to experiment with gamers on the Wallabies’ most vexing place.

“Connal’s sturdy set piece and all-around recreation has earned him an opportunity to symbolize his nation, which is a proud second for him and his household,” Rennie mentioned.

Tighthead prop Allan Alaalatoa returns to the squad instead of Greg Holmes.

Australia might be vying for its fifth straight win on Saturday after ending the Rugby Championship with back-to-back victories over each the Pumas and world champion South Africa.

The Wallabies then head to Britain for November assessments in opposition to Scotland, England and Wales, however haven’t labored out whether or not they are going to have Japan-based flyhalf Quade Cooper, Kerevi and unfastened ahead Sean McMahon as a result of gamers’ membership necessities.

“We’re attempting to come back to a decision that fits everybody,” mentioned Rennie.

Although Kerevi missed out for Saturday, Rennie mentioned the Fiji-born midfielder could be match for Scotland at Murrayfield on Nov. 8 if made obtainable.

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