Fundamental points for reaching the quarterfinals are being played out in Nice
A little less than a year ago, the match between England and Japan ended with a score of 52:13 in favor of the England team. Much has changed since that day, especially in London.
However, the team’s XV looked to put the latest difficult year in rugby to rest on the occasion of their world debut against Argentina, a match in which the Pumas were widely considered favourites.
Tonight at 21:00 on the greens of the Nice Stadium, Japan, refreshed by a convincing victory over Chile, will try to instill doubt in Steve Borthwick’s side, keen to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
The two technical managers face this delicate world juncture with some changes (3 for the English, 4 for the Japanese) but no major upheaval in the two starting XVs.
Rugby World Cup 2023: England v Japan match preview
The Brave Flowers brought weight and stability back into the fight with the additions of Hori, Gimeno and Labuschanie. On the other side of the fence, the favored weapon is likely to be a set of scrums that, even if it has lost Tom Curry, look very much alive after the first 80 minutes of the RWC.
What happens ahead will inevitably affect the fate of the match. It was quite easy for Japan to win the ball against Chile, but tonight it is more difficult. Sources of the English game will be able to count on a heavy and experienced front line and a full lineout option.
Led by Courtney Lawes, the men will look to be physical, put the same defensive emphasis on Argentina and capitalize on the scoring streak of George Ford, a real talisman for this French England side.
Teams on the field in Nice
England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jonny May, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Lewis Ludlum, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Courtney Lawes (c), 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje , 3 Kyle Sinclair, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler
Substitutions: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stewart, 19 George Martin, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Ollie Lawrence
Japan: 15 Semishi Masirewa, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Tomoki Osada, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Jone Naikabula, 10 Rikiya Matsuda, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno (c), 7 Peter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Amato Fakatawa, 4 Jack Cornelsen , 3 Jiwon Goo, 2 Shota Hori, 1 Keita Inagaki
Substitutions: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Asaeli Ai Walu, 19 Warner Dirns, 20 Kanji Shimokawa, 21 Naoto Saito, 22 Dylan Riley, 23 Lomano Lemeki
Place: Stade de Nice, Nice
Kick off: 21:00 local time (20:00 UK Standard Time, 19:00 GMT)
Judge: Nika Amashukeli (GRU)
Assistants: Nick Berry (RA), Andrea Piardi (FIR)
TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)
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