Japan wing Fukuoka to miss RWC opener vs Russia

TOKYO (AP) — Japan winger Kenki Fukuoka will miss the Rugby World Cup opening match against Russia next week because of a minor calf muscle tear.

Fukuoka pulled up lame in the fourth minute of the 41-7 loss to South Africa last Friday in Kumagaya, the teams' last warmup for the tournament.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was a grade one tear in the right calf which will sideline the regular starter for about four weeks.

He will miss the tournament opener against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo, the Japan Rugby Football Union said on Tuesday, and could be fit in time for their second Pool A game against Ireland on Sept. 28.

No. 8 Amanaki Lelei Mafi injured his right shoulder against the Springboks and came off, too, but Japan expects him to be available for the Russia match.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

ADVERTISEMENT
Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?