2019 Rugby World Cup – Japan vs Ireland Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Japan vs Ireland taking place? Saturday 28th September, 2019 – 08:15 (UK)

Where is Japan vs Ireland taking place? Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka Prefecture

What is the expected weather for Japan vs Ireland? 16c in partly cloudy skies

What television channel is Japan vs Ireland on in the UK? This match will be televised live on ITV 1

Where can I stream Japan vs Ireland? This match can be streamed via ITV Hub

Where can I get tickets for Japan vs Ireland? https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Last meeting:
Japan 13-35 Ireland

THE TEAM NEWS

JAPAN

  • Japan were too good for Russia in the opening game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup but this will be a very different challenge for them as they face the team that entered the tournament as the world’s number one ranked side.
  • The hosts were hoping to have key players Kenki Fukuoka and Amanaki Mafi available after the pair missed the first game through injury but it is only the latter that will feature here and he has been named to start at number eight.
  • Captain Michael Leitch will start from the bench so Pieter Labuschagne will lead a much-changed side with Koo Ji-won, Luke Thompson and Ryohei Yamanka coming into the team for their first starts whilst there are also some positional changes for those who started against Russia.

IRELAND

  • Ireland began their Rugby World Cup campaign with a comfortable victory over Scotland in their opening match of Pool A in Japan and will now face the hosts in a challenge they will want to overcome without any drama.
  • Both Peter O'Mahony and Bundee Aki failed HIAs against Scotland but the former will be fit enough to take his place in the Ireland starting XV whilst Aki will sit this game out with Chris Farrell earning a start.
  • Fly-half Johnny Sexton has been rested with Jack Carty taking his place but other than that change, the Irish have named an experienced side that includes the likes of Rob Kearney and Keith Earls whilst they have retained their entire front five for this game.

THE PREDICTION

Ireland did a solid job against Scotland in their RWC opener and they will now face hosts Japan in their next encounter. Japan started brightly against Russia but will be in for a much tougher game here, mainly because the Irish have shown them plenty of respect by naming a very strong line-up. They will have a new face at fly-half with Jack Carty replacing the rested Johnny Sexton and he can guide his side to what should be a relatively comfortable victory.

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