Japan vs England LIVE rugby: Latest score and updates as Eddie Jones takes on former side in Tokyo

England take on Japan in Tokyo
England take on Japan in Tokyo (Getty Images)

England return to action after an encouraging Six Nations as they take on Japan in Tokyo.

Steve Borthwick’s side are gearing up for a two-Test tour of New Zealand later this summer, and travel with hope of challenging the All Blacks after beating Ireland and running France close at the end of their last campaign.

First, though, is an encounter with former head coach Eddie Jones, back in charge of the Brave Blossoms after a horror return to Australia that ended in World Cup ignominy and a premature departure from a role he held for not even a year. But the veteran coach will relish an opportunity to get after England as he takes on his former side for the first time since parting ways with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) at the end of 2022.

For Borthwick — who forged his coaching career as an assistant under Jones — this represents a fine chance for his young side to continue to develop having made significant strides during the Six Nations. With George Ford nursing a sore Achilles, Marcus Smith is entrusted with the fly half shirt, while youngsters like Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Chandler Cunningham-South will hope to continue to burgeon their reputations.

Follow all of the latest updates from the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo below:


Japan vs England

Out the players come, Japan in their red and white stripes, England in their change navy blue. Michael Leitch takes a moment to compose himself as he steps alongside Jamie George at the head of the lines – Eddie Jones has always gone out of his way to praise the leadership of a man so integral to Japan’s growth over the last decade. Can Leitch inspire another famous day for his side?

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:47


Japan vs England

Right, here we go. It’s scorchio at the National Stadium in Tokyo, but a good crowd have navigated up to Shinjuku to a ground built for the last Olympics.

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:43


Team news – England

With George Ford absent due to injury, Marcus Smith is handed the reins at fly half for England. Harlequins teammate Chandler Cunningham-South is set for a first start on the blindside after impressing in a bench role during the Six Nations, while Sale wing Tom Roebuck is in line for a debut having been named as a replacement.

England XV: 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Jamie George (c), 3 Dan Cole; 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Martin; 6 Chandler Cunningham-South, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Ben Earl; 9 Alex Mitchell, 10 Marcus Smith; 11 Tommy Freeman, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 13 Henry Slade, 14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso; 15 George Furbank.

Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Tom Curry; 21 Harry Randall, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Tom Roebuck.

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:38


Team news – Japan

Eddie Jones hands a debut to young full-back Yoshitaka Yazaki, who has impressed in university rugby but is yet to make an appearance at professional level. Veteran flanker Michael Leitch skippers a fresh-looking side as Japan begin to build again after a disappointing World Cup.

And breaking news of a last minute change: Dylan Riley has been ruled out. Samisoni Tua steps up into the starting side at outside centre and Takuya Yamasawa is brought on to the bench

Japan XV: 1 Takayoshi Mohara, 2 Mamoru Harada, 3 Shuhhei Takeuchi; 4 Sanaila Waqa, 5 Warner Dearns; 6 Michael Leitch (c), 7 Tiennan Costley, 8 Faulua Makisi; 9 Naoto Saito, 10 Seungsin Lee; 11 Koga Nezuka, 12 Tomoki Osada, 13 Samisoni Tua, 14 Jone Naikabula; 15 Yoshitaka Yazaki.

Replacements:16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Shogo Miura, 18 Keijiro Tamefusa, 19 Amanaki Saumaki, 20 Kai Yamamoto; 21 Shinobu Fujiwara, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Takuya Yamasawa.

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:34


Invaluable – Jamie George hoping ‘incredible’ Kevin Sinfield stays with England

Sinfield is due to leave his role as skills and kicking coach this summer but it has emerged that he is rethinking his future as Borthwick explores the possibility of him staying with the Rugby Football Union.

The 43-year-old’s departure was announced in January after a year-long spell as defence coach that included the World Cup, but he is regarded by players as an important presence around the squad who should be retained.

“I couldn’t be keener for him to stay,” George told a press conference in Tokyo ahead of today’s clash with Japan.

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:30


Ben Youngs believes ‘very good coach’ Eddie Jones has a lot to offer Japan

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:23


Eddie Jones sends England warning and reveals Japan’s danger man

Eddie Jones has warned England they will be taken to the wire as Japan target a major upset in Saturday’s clash in Tokyo.

Jones’ second spell as Japan boss begins at the National Stadium where he is facing the side he coached for seven years until he was sacked in December 2022 because of a slump in results.

Adding further intrigue is that for the first time he will be coming up against Steve Borthwick, his former number two with both the Brave Blossoms and England who succeeded him at Twickenham.

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:15


Japan vs England talking points: Hosts in rebuilding mode

Japan field four debutants including a player who still turns out for his university side as they begin rebuilding for the 2027 World Cup. It was classic Jones picking Yoshitaka Yazaki at full-back even though he has yet to appear in a professional game, but the Australian is convinced the 20-year-old is ready for the step up. Japan intend playing fast and loose to suit their strengths and need to avoid an arm wrestle up front, especially with two of those debutants appearing in the front row.

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 06:05


Japan vs England talking points: The indestructible man

When Tom Curry steps off the bench at National Stadium, it will complete a remarkable comeback for a player who has had just 34 minutes of action since last autumn’s World Cup. Curry underwent surgery to repair a career-threatening hip injury and despite the prognosis that he would not return until next season – if at all – he has shown remarkable powers of recovery to be involved on the summer tour. England will need his influence, especially in defence, if they are to topple the All Blacks.


Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 05:55


Japan vs England talking points: Marcus Smith’s time to shine

George Ford was masterful as England finished the Six Nations by finding their mojo against Ireland and France but with the veteran fly-half absent through injury, Marcus Smith will pull the strings against Japan. Smith has always been operating in the shadow of Ford or Owen Farrell but with both of them out of the picture, it is time for the Harlequins’ playmaker to prove he can provide the game management to match his creativity on the Test stage.

Marcus Smith starts at fly-half against Japan
Marcus Smith starts at fly-half against Japan (PA Wire)

Harry Latham-Coyle22 June 2024 05:45

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