Japan set to announce squad for its 1st Rugby World Cup QF
TOKYO (AP) — Jamie Joseph gets to do what no other coach of the Japan national team has ever done at a Rugby World Cup when he announces his squad Friday for the quarterfinal match against South Africa.
Japan is hosting the Rugby World Cup for the first time in Asia, and has reached the knockout stage for the first time after topping Pool A with wins over Ireland, Scotland, Samoa and Russia.
Two-time champion South Africa placed second in Pool B after an opening loss to the defending champion All Blacks. Despite South Africa's big win in a warmup match last month against Japan, it's the game four years ago that is getting most attention before this Sunday's quarterfinal at Tokyo Stadium. Japan's win over the Springboks at Brighton in 2015 was the biggest shocker ever at the tournament.
This time, the Japan team knows it won't be sneaking up on any teams.
Wales and France will also confirm their lineups for their quarterfinal meeting in Oita on Sunday.
In the first of the quarterfinals on Saturday, Australia and England will meet in Oita and New Zealand will play Ireland in Tokyo.