Saturday, August 13, 2011

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Japan in Italy

Japan v Italy in Cesena (World Cup Warm-up)

Venue: Stadium Dino Manuzzi



Japan will play Italy in a rugby test Saturday. The Japanese arrive to begin their 2011 Rugby World Cup preparations, as do Italy.

Italy has made a number of changes from their 6 Nations team including a few new caps. This will be their last opportunity to impress before Italy takes on Scotland in their final warm-up match. Prop Lo Cicero returns and will become the second highest test capped player for Italy behind the famous Alessandro Troncon (101 tests).

The Italians will be somewhat rusty playing their first rugby test in 5 months whereas Japan has played in the Asia5Nations and the Pacific Nations Cup. I’d expect the Italians to dominate up front but struggle to contain the Japanese backs.

Previous Encounters
18.08.2007 Italy 36-12 in St Vincent (World Cup Warm-up)
11.06.2006 Italy 52-6 in Tokyo (Friendly)
03.07.2004 Italy 32-19 in Tokyo (Friendly)
21.04.2007 Italy 25-3 in Padova (Friendly)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Italy 8th, Japan 12th

IRB Ranking Points
Italy 73.54, Japan 72.56

Prediction: Italy by 7



15 Luke Mclean (Benetton Treviso) 28 caps
14 Giulio Toniolatti (MPS Aironi) 5
13 Alberto Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso) 12
12 Matteo Pratichetti (MPS Aironi, 22
11 Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso) 6
10 Riccardo Bocchino (Estra I Cavalieri Prato) 6
9 Edoardo Gori (Benetton Treviso) 3
8 Sergio Parisse, Capt. (Stade Francais, France) 77
7 Mauro Bergamasco 84
6 Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Treviso) 52
5 Marco Bortolami (MPS Aironi) 84
4 Quintin Geldenhuys (MPS Aironi) 21
3 Lorenzo Cittadini (Benetton Treviso) 4
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso) 37
1 Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro Paris, France) 86
16 Tommaso D'Apice (MPS Aironi) New cap
17 Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers, England) 76
18 Cornelius Van Zyl (Benetton Treviso) New cap
19 Paul Derbyshire (Benetton Treviso) 10
20 Pablo Canavosio (Cammi Calvisano) 36
21 Luciano Orquera (MPS Aironi) 22
22 Gonzalo Canale (Clermont-Auvergne, France) 66
Head Coach: Nik Mallett

Adapted from


15 Shaun Webb (West Red Sparks)
14 Kosuke Endo (Toyota)
13 Koji Taira (Suntory)
12 Ryan Nicholas (Suntory)
11 Takeisa Usuzuki (Toyota)
10 James Arlidge (Nottingham RFC, England)
9 Fumiaki Tanaka (Panasonic)
8 Ryukoliniasi Holani (Panasonic)
7 Michael Leitch (Toshiba)
6 Takashi Kikutani, Capt. (Toyota)
5 Toshizumi Kitagawa (Toyota)
4 Justin Ives (Panasonic)
3 Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory)
2 Shota Horie (Panasonic)
1 Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe Steel)
16 Hiroki Yuhara (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
17 Nozomu Fujita (Honda Heat)
18 Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners)
19 Tadasuke Nishihara (Panasonic Wild Knights)
20 Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath)
21 Alisi Tupuailai (Canon Eagles)
22 Murray Williams (Toyota Industry Shuttles)
Head Coach: John Kirwan

Adapted from

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