The June doubleheader between Japan and Ireland is all set to kick off in Shizuoka. This will be a prelude to the World Cup pool rival clash that the two teams will be having during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Ireland is looking to make a good meal out of these two games against Japan. The game at Shizuoka will be the first meeting between the two teams after a span of 12 years. There is a lot at stake in the doubleheader and both teams are aware of that.
The coach of the Irish team, Joe Schmidt, has brought in quite a bit of change to the team. He has changed six players in the team that earned a 55-19 victory over the USA last weekend. This gives Luke McGrath, Andrew Conway, Dan Leavy and Rory Scannell their first starts during the game on June 17.
The man of the match performer in the tour opener, Keith Earls, will be shifting got the left wing in order to make space for Conway. Tickets are still available on www.liverugbytickets.co.uk for both this Tour and the upcomig Autumn internationals, before all heads turn back to the Six Nations once more.
Schmidt is looking to test the play of his players as he is making a lot of changes in the team. Twelve players of the match day squad have just had five caps or less and this will be a big test for each and every Irish player. The Japanese team is a well-drilled unit and is playing at home.
Schmidt said that he has been forced to carry out so many changes to the team as there are some regular players who have been sidelined with injuries. Those rested players would have given more experience and guidance to the squad. But, this is a very good chance for the other players to step in and prove their mettle. This game will show who all can adapt to the game and the conditions the fastest.