Venue: Namdong Rugby Ground, Incheon
The new format of the Asia Rugby Championship gets underway in Korea Saturday. Asia’s top three teams play a home-away series to herald a new chapter in Asian rugby. Previously the competition included five teams but some serious blow out scores indicated a huge gap between Asia’s top 3 and the rest.
Japan has always dominated Korea in test rugby except for a brief period in the 1990’s and early 2000’s when Korea actually won the Asia top title.The difference between these two teams is the amount of top international test rugby they play. Since the 2014 Asia 5 Nations tournament Japan has played Samoa, Canada, USA, Italy, NZ Maoris (twice), Romania and Georgia. Korea has played nobody.
Last Five Encounters
17.05.2014 Japan 62-5 in Incheon (WCQ Asia; Asia 5 Nations)
04.05.2013 Japan 65-5 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia; Asia 5 Nations)
12.05.2012 Japan 52-8 in Seoul (Asia 5 Nations)
01.05.2010 Japan 71-13 in Daegu (WCQ Asia R2; Asia 5 Nations)
16.05.2009 Japan 80-9 in Osaka (Asia 5 Nations)
In 2004 Korea drew 19-19 with Japan in Tokyo as part of an Asia Tournament. Korea last defeated Japan in 2002 when they won 45-34 in the gold medal game at the Asia Games held in Korea.
GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table: Japan 1st, Korea 3rd
World Rugby Ranking Points
Japan 74.70, Korea 57.22
Prediction: Japan by 56 points. Score 64-8
1-Masataka Mikami (Toshiba Brave Lupus, 23 caps) 2-Takeshi Kizu (Kobelco Steelers, 30 caps) 3-(c) Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory Sungoliath, 60 caps) 4-Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners, 49 caps) 5-Shoji Ito (Kobelco Steelers, 28 caps) 6-Justin Ives (Canon Eagles, 23 caps) 7-Hayden Hopgood ( ? , 3 caps) 8-Ryu Koliniasi Holani (Panasonic Wild Knights, 35 caps) 9-Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath, 38 caps) 10-Harumichi Tatekawa (Kubota Spears, 28 caps) 11-Yoshikazu Fujita (Waseda Univ., 18 caps) 12-Yu Tamura (NEC Green Rockets, 26 caps) 13-Karne Hesketh (Munakata Sanix Blues, 2 caps) 14-Chihito Matsui (Doshisha Univ., 0 cap) 15-Ayumu Goromaru (Yamaha Jubilo, 43 caps)
16-Hisateru Hirashima (Kobelco Steelers, 35 caps) 17-Hiroki Yuhara (Toshiba Brave Lupus, 18 caps) 18-Hiroshi Yamashita (Kobelco Steelers, 37 caps) 19-Kazuhiko Usami (Canon Eagles, 0 cap) 20-Tsuyoshi Murata (NEC Green Rockets, 0 cap) 21-Keisuke Uchida (Panasonic Wild Knights, 8 caps) 22-Ryohei Yamanaka (Kobelco Steelers, un cap) 23-Toshiaki Hirose (Toshiba Brave Lupus, 23 caps)
1-Sungku Park (Unaffiliated) 2-Kim Jeep (KEPCO) 3-Kwangsik Kim (Honda Heat) 4-Kim Ho Bum (Sangmu) 5-Youn Kwon Woo (Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars) 6-Kim Hyun Soo (KEPCO) 7-Jang Seok Hwan (Sangmu) 8-Han Kun Kyu (KEPCO) 9-Lee Myung Jun (Sangmu) 10-Oh Youn Hyung (KEPCO) 11-Kim Gwong Min (KEPCO) 12-Kim Nam Uk (KEPCO) 13-(c) Kim Sung Soo (KEPCO) 14-Jegal Bin (NTT Shining Arcs) 15-Jang Sung Min (Sangmu)
16-Na Kwan Young (Sangmu) 17-Son Young Ki (POSCO) 18-Shin Dongwon (Unaffiliated) 19-Hwan In Jo (KEPCO) 20-Lee Yong Seung (Hino Red Dolphins) 21-Shin Ki Chul (KRU) 22-Lee Eu Tteum (POSCO) 23-Park Han Gyul (KRU)
Adapted from http://www.japonrugby.net/le-xv-sud-coreen-face-au-japon-2015.php