Rugby-Flyhalf Yamasawa gets Japan recall for mid-year tests


  • Rugby
  • Tuesday, 31 May 2022

FILE PHOTO: Rugby - Asia Rugby Championship - Second Round - Hong Kong v Japan - Hong Kong, China – 13/5/17 - Japan's Takuya Yamasawa is chased by Hong Kong players. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

TOKYO (Reuters) - Saitama Wild Knights flyhalf Takuya Yamasawa has been rewarded for his heroics in the League One final on Sunday with a recall to the Japan squad for mid-year tests against Uruguay and France.

Yamasawa stood in for injured team mate Rikiya Matsuda, the regular test flyhalf, and helped the Wild Knights to a 18-12 win over Tokyo Sungoliath, crucially stripping Damian McKenzie of the ball just as the All Black looked certain to score.

The 27-year-old, who played three times for his country in 2017, was the only international flyhalf in the 34-man training squad with the other playmakers, Lee Seung-Shin and Hayata Nakao, among nine uncapped players.

Yamasawa was one of 10 Wild Knights in the squad, including the Australian-raised trio of number eight Jack Cornelsen, flanker Ben Gunter and centre Dylan Riley.

The 'Brave Blossoms' face Uruguay in Tokyo on June 18 and again in Fukuoka a week later before taking on Six Nations champions France in Toyota on July 2. Japan squad:

Forwards - Keita Inagaki, Asaeli Ai Valu, Shinnosuke Kakinaga, Yusuke Kizu, Craig Millar, Yukio Morikawa, Atsushi Sakate, Daigo Hashimoto, Shota Horie, Saumaki Amanaki, Warner Dearns, Sanaila Waqa, Ben Gunter, Masato Furukawa, Pieter Labuschagne, Michael Leitch, Jack Cornelsen, Faulua Makisi.

Backs - Naoto Saito, Daiki Nakajima, Yutaka Nagare, Hayata Nakao, Takuya Yamasawa, Lee Seung-Shin, Yusuke Kajimura, Shogo Nakano, Dylan Riley, Taichi Takahashi, Jone Naikabula, Gerhard Van Den Heever, Siosaia Fifita, Rakuhei Yamashita, Ryuji Noguchi, Ryohei Yamanaka.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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