Japan Holds Final Practice in Preparation for Match Against England in Rugby World Cup

Masaki Furumaya / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Michael Leitch, center, leads Japan’s work out on Saturday ahead of a Rugby World Cup matchup against England.

LA TURBIE, France — Japan on Saturday held its final full practice ahead of its second Rugby World Cup match, a showdown against England in first-round pool play on Sunday (4 a.m. Monday Japan time) in Nice, France.

Tomoki Osada is slated to make his first start at center at the World Cup.

“Frankly speaking, I was surprised at first. But I’m starting to get pumped up for it,” Osada said when he was told about his starting nod.

In the team’s RWC opener against Chile, Osada, who plays for the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights, came on as a sub and had a strong performance.

“Nothing has changed as far as what I have to do. I just want to go out and perform my role well,” he said emphatically about earning a starting spot for a match against powerhouse England.