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Wednesday, 25th April 2012
In Japan Sports News,

Japan rugby coach makes call-ups for Kazakhstan match

The Japanese rugby side preparing to face Kazakhstan in the Asian Five Nations this weekend will include six previously uncapped players after Eddie Jones cleared out the dead wood.

Between the entire squad there are no more than 200 caps, but the recently-appointed coach is adamant that he has picked the best team available, AFP reported.

Japan will kick off the tournament against Kazakhstan hoping to make win their fifth consecutive Asian Five Nations title.

Right winger Toshiaki Hirose will captain the side, while his Toshiba club teammate Michael Leitch - a New Zealander - is the only player born overseas in this year's squad.

"I have selected the strongest team at present in Japan," Jones told the news agency. "They are players full of potential."

The 52-year-old coach, who has a Japanese mother and Australian father, was previously coach of the Australian national side and took them to the 2003 World Cup final, which they lost to a last-minute Jonny Wilkinson drop goal.

Written by Susan Ballion