Japan ring the changes for Ireland

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has rung the changes to his starting line-up for their Test with Ireland in Tokyo on Saturday.

Joseph has wielded the axe after his charges suffered a 50-22 defeat to Joe Schmidt's charges in last weekend's opening Test in Shizuoka.

In all, there are eight alterations with five of the changes and a positional switch made to the back-line. 

On the right wing, Akihito Yamada takes over from Kotaro Matshima while Kotaro Matsushima and Yu Tamura replace William Tupou and Timothy Lafaele to form a new midfield combination.

Tamura starts at inside-centre, after lining up at fly-half last week, with Jumpei Ogura starting in the number 10 jersey alongside Yutaka Nagare who replaces Fumiaki Tanaka at scrum-half.

In the forwards, Shuhei Matsuhashi comes in on the openside flank where he replaces Yoshitaka Tokunaga while Luke Thompson takes over from Kotaro Yatabe at lock and Yusuke Niwai comes in at hooker for regular skipper Shota Horie.

With Horie relegated to the bench, Michael Leitch takes over the captaincy.

Japan: 15 Ryuji Noguchi, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Kotaro Matsushima, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Shintaro Ishihara 
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Takayuki Watanabe, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka 

Date: Saturday, June 24
Venue: Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-Off: 14:40 local (05:40 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Alex Ruiz (France)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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