Sampson expecting a “very fast” game in Tokyo
The Force are set to face the Japan A side, known as the Wold Pack, at Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday and head coach Tim Sampson said the team is expecting a highly competitive match up.
“We are going into a big game and we are expecting a very fast game,” Sampson said.
“They like to play at speed in everything they do but they are also very clinical.
“Home ground advantage has an impact and the stadium is a special place but I’m sure the guys will emotionally be able to get up for this one.”
The team was joined by Fergus Lee Warner and Ian Prior earlier this week. With Prior starting on the bench, Brad Lacey will run out as captain once again after his debut in the role last week against the Sanix Blues.
“He handled it really well, was composed, an important trait. It didn’t affect his game, he had a very strong game,” Sampson said.
“Having your captain back in the squad is important. He boosts morale.”
Sampson made two changes to his forward pack with Chris Alcock coming in for Tevin Ferris and Harrison Lloyd swapping in with Chris Heiberg. Ferris and Heiberg move to an extended 10-man bench.
The Wolf Pack will play with a team made of players pushing for potential spots in the World Cup as well as several players from the Japanese Top League teams.
The Western Force team:
1. Harrison Lloyd, 2. Andrew Ready, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Leon Power, 5. Johan Bardoul, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Chris Alcock, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Issak Fines, 10. AJ Alatimu, 11. Brad Lacey, 12. Henry Taefu, 13. Marcel Brache, 14. Rod Davies, 15. Jack McGregor.
Reserves: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Markus Vanzati, 19. Tom Sheminant, 20. Fergus Lee-Warner, 21. Tevin Ferris, 22. Ian Prior, 23. Rodney Iona, 24. Masivesi Dakuwaqa, 25. Clay Uyen.
The Wolf Pack team:
1. Keita Inagaki, 2. Atsushi Sakate, 3. Asaeli Ai Valu, 4. Wimpie Van Der Walt, 5. Uwe Helu, 6. Pieter Lappies, 7. Shunsuke Nunomaki, 8. Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 9. Yutaka Nagare, 10. Rikiya Matsuda, 11. Kenki Fukoaka, 12. Ryoto Nakamura, 13. Yusuke Kajimura, 14. Lomano Lemeki, 15. Ryuji Noguchi.
Reserves: 16. Takayuki Kitade, 17. Isieli Nakajima, 18. Yusuke Kizu, 19. Yuya Odo, 20. Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21. Atsushi Hiwasa, 22. Takuya Yamasawa, 23. Harumichi Tatekawa, 24. William Tupou, 25. Seiya Ozaki.
*Note: This game is not broadcast. Game information will be available on Twitter and the full-time score will be available on social media.