A World XV team will to play Japan on October 28th, with a host of tops international stars being announced for this gala match.
The team, to be coached by Robbie Deans, will include players from Argentina, Australia, England, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. Australians Sam Wykes, Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane, will be fronting up for the Aussies, while Toyota Verblitz prop Ruan Smith is joined by his twin brother Jean-Pierre. Former England and British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling (Munakata Sanix Blues), Edward Quirk (Canon Eagles) and Willie Britz (NTT Communications Shining Arcs) are also named.
Argentine prop Facundo Gigena, the South African pair of Adriaan Strauss and RG Snyman, former All Black Corey Flynn and Italy’s Simone Favaro are the other forwards named in the squad.
Australian Nic Stirzaker, South African Rohan Janse van Rensburg, New Zealanders Vince Aso and Melani Nanai, Frenchman Vincent Clerc and Japan’s RWC 2015 hero Ayumu Goromaru join Ellis, Barnes, Ioane and Buckman in the backs.
Springbok Ruan Combrinck was one of four players named to the squad in September along with Strauss, Janse van Rensburg and Goromaru.
Japan last played the World XV in Tokyo in August 2015 with Barnes kicking four penalty goals and three conversions and Ellis touching down twice in a 45-20 win. I would expect a far closer game…in fact Japan need to win this to lay down some markers for 2019.