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Team Preview Japan

Ranked 4 in the World, Japan are right on the edge of big things and will be hoping to emerge from a tough pool into the knockouts. Consistently ranked in the top 5 for the last two Paralympic cycles Japan have been on an improving path that saw them draw ever nearer to Paralympic success with a 4th place finish in 2012 and a Bronze medal at the 2010 World Champs.

Preparation has been thorough with victory in the Japan Para championships in May (beating Great Britain in the final and New Zealand along the way) and a 5 game match up with USA in July providing stern tests ahead of BT WWRC15 and the Asia - Oceania championships later in October where potential Rio qualification awaits. A major roadblock on both those journeys could be Australia who as Paralympic and World Champions will be favourites for both tournaments.

Japan's group is arguably the hardest WWRC pool to emerge from with all 4 teams ranked in the World's top 10 and the Great Britain team keen to impress on their #everyroadtorio, alongside Australia and France.

Shin Nazakato pursues USA's Chuck Aoki  - pic courtesy Lakeshore foundation

The team play an attractive brand of Rugby spearheaded by 3 pointer Daisuke Ikezaki ('Ike') and 2.5 Shin Nazakato but shutting Ike down is key to any success. In London 2012 Great Britain were unable to do that as he scored 24 of 51 points in a big win, but the GB team is much changed and they will be optimistic that 2012 will not be repeated. Their Wednesday night match up has the potential to be a make or break match for both teams with the victor likely to qualify for Thursday evening's Semi-Finals and the loser on their way to the daytime battle for 5th-8th.

Japan have lots of reasons to put on a strong showing - improving their World ranking, laying down markers for zonals and Rio Paralympics and to showcase the sport in Japan as they seek to stage the tournament on home soil around the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The only four countries to have ever won a Paralympic medal are all taking part in BT WWRC15 and Japan will be aiming to show that they can be the fifth.

Ayaz Bhuta puts pressure on Ike during the Japan Para Champs

Japan Fixtures
Australia -  Tuesday Oct 13 - 1200 tickets
France - Wednesday Oct 14 - 1400 tickets
Great Britain - Wednesday Oct 14 - 1945 tickets

Full Tournament Schedule