Japan vs Ireland Rugby World Cup Pool A. It is both of these teams’ second game of the tournament, with the winner set to improve their qualification hopes significantly. Saturday, September 28. It will be played at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa in the Shizuoka prefecture.
What TV channel is it on?
All Rugby World Cup games are being broadcast live on ITV, with replays and a live stream available on the ITV Hub. Alternatively, you can follow all the action here with Telegraph Sport.
What is the latest squad news?
No 8 Amanaki Lelei Mafi is set to return from injury and, when you throw in the form of Pieter Labuschagne and Kazuki Himeno in the Cherry Blossoms’ win over Russia in their Pool A opener, it might mean that captain Michael Leitch could start Saturday’s game at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on the bench.
Elsewhere, Japan are set to neutralise Ireland’s high-ball threat by handing the full-back starting jersey to Ryohei Yamanaka.
Star wing Kenki Fukuoka trained with the side this week but is unlikely to feature as he continues his rehab on an ankle injury.
Head coach Joe Schmidt has said that he intends to make changes to his team to face Japan on Saturday. And, after an 80-minute shift on Saturday, captain Rory Best is one of the names likely to be rested.
Robbie Henshaw remains highly unlikely to face the hosts in Shizuoka, but Keith Earls, Joey Carbery and Rob Kearney have all trained this week, while Peter O’Mahony and Bundee Aki will be hopeful of coming through their concussion protocols in time to be considered for selection.
Johnny Sexton suffered a bang to the thigh but he will be fine, while Tadhg Furlong’s substitution was tactical. Both men should be fit for this weekend.
What is their head-to-head record?
Ireland and Japan have played each other on seven occasions and Ireland have won all seven matches. They have met twice in the Rugby World Cup, in 1991 and 1995, but never in the professional era