TOKYO (JUN 04) – Japan to play Super 14 Queensland Reds as warmup for IRB Pacific Nations Cup
Japan flew out to Australia on Wednesday to hold a 10-day training camp ahead of the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup.
The camp culminates with a game against Queensland Reds on June 10 at Brisbane°«s famous Ballymore ground.
°»We needed a game outside of Japan because of IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009,°… said Japan coach John Kirwan.
°»We normally play the Classic All Blacks as leading up to Pacific Nations Cup we need to get tested defensively.°…
Queensland Reds coach Phil Mooney, meanwhile, named 18 contracted Reds players in an extended 27-man squad for match.
The Reds lineup is a mix of Reds, academy and club players not involved with the Wallabies or Australia°«s Under 20 campaign.
“We°«ve got an exciting blend of contracted players and club players,°… Mooney said in a press release.
°»In the forwards we°«ve got most of our contracted forwards available and in the backs, due to injuries and Wallaby selection, we°«ve been able to select a few club players.°…
Mooney said the match was the perfect opportunity for some of the younger players to gain experience in a professional environment.
°»This is an opportunity to play against an international team and it is a great honour for us,°… he said.
°»These days you don°«t get to play against international opposition that often and even on development tours you generally play against other provincial sides.°…
Kirwan is hoping the game will bridge the gap between the recent Asian Five Nations and the more physically demanding Pacific tournament.
°»Both sides are young teams facing each other. Leading up to Rugby World Cup 2011, this is the sort of interaction we need,°… he said.
°»This is different from the team we fielded against Singapore. There were different parameters and different combinations then.
°»It is a very important year for us making sure we get some of these young guys out there and tough it out like they did against America in November.°…