Rugby World Cup 2019 Live: Watch Rugby World Cup 2019 Live Stream, RWC 2019 Japan vs Russia Rugby World Cup 2019. Start time, Tv Channel.The first game of the tournament has been four years in the making for Michael Leitch and the Japan squad.
The hype has been steadily growing, Japan vs Russia and now Japan will have their first genuine taste of the expectation which comes with being hosts when they take on Russia in the opening match of the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia.
An upset win over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup swelled Japan’s fan-base at home and abroad and has added to the hope they may be the giant-killers of this year’s tournament.
Back-rower Leitch was one of eight players selected on Wednesday Japan vs Russia in Japan’s match-day 23 who were involved in that game four years ago.
He says the atmosphere has intensified in practice, but “it’s great having all eyes on rugby”.
Yu Tamara was picked by coach Jamie Joseph to start at fly-half and Luke Thompson was included on the bench. At 38, Thompson could become the oldest player to represent Japan in the competition and the first to play in four World Cups.
Leitch says his players are happy to live with heightened pressure and they have their sights firmly set on making the quarter-finals for the first time. An emphatic win by 10th-ranked Japan over 20th-ranked Russia might help quiet the players’ Japan vs Russia nerves and those of their fans, while launching the tournament on a high note.
Japan will have to be quickly into their strides as they need not only to beat Russia but to do so by a large margin if they are to have a chance of progressing to the knockout rounds. Points differential could come into play in deciding the top two teams in what seems to be an even pool.
Japan share the group with top-ranked Ireland, Scotland, Russia and former quarter-finalists Samoa. After Russia, they play Ireland, then Samoa, making their last pool match against Scotland a possibly-decisive contest for second place if Ireland top the pool as expected.
“It’s going to be a big occasion, not just for our team but for the country, but you can’t really replicate what’s coming up for the players,” Joseph said. “Our team wants to make the top eight. The last World Cup Japan did very, very well, but still didn’t make the top eight so that’s been the target all along.”
A 41-7 loss to South Africa in a recent warm-up game was not in any way indicative of Japan’s comparative standing with Tier-One nations or of any decline in their ability since the last World Cup. Joseph used the match Japan vs Russia for experimentation and to adapt a game plan to those of their pool opponents.
“The biggest lesson for us is that when we make a small mistake against a Tier-One team they will punish us and score points,” Joseph said. “We are a well-prepared team both physically and mentally. We understand what our roles are. We want to make everyone proud.”
One of the men under most pressure is Tamura, a bench player at the last World Cup but who now has the task of guiding Japan’s attacking game.
“This is a game with 15 players,” Tamura said. “It’s the same for any country. Everyone has to do a good job and it’s difficult to deal with it all alone. Japan vs Russia The stage is all set with the home fans behind us.”
Russia may still be startled to find themselves at the centre of the spectacle of the World Cup’s opening match. The Russians were lucky to qualify, doing so only after Romania were disqualified for fielding ineligible players.
Russia’s warm-up form has not been impressive: they conceded 162 points including 24 tries in their last three matches. But captain Vasily Artemyev said those games allowed Russia to overcome some rustiness and promised his team would be better at the World Cup.
Artemyev and Vladimir Ostroushko are in the starting line-up after playing in all four matches in Russia’s last appearance at the World Cup in 2011. Japan vs Russia Victor Gresev is on the bench.
Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Lomano Lava Lemeki, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 1 Keita Inagaki, 2 Shota Horie, 3 Asaeli Ai Valu, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 5 James Moore, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 8 Kazuki Himeno.
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Jiwon Koo, 19 Luke Thompson, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka