Preview: Japan vs. USA

Despite Japan's shocking win over the Springboks, Scotland and South Africa snatched the top two places in this group. Japan will have to get over the disappointment of failing to make the quarterfinals. USA, meanwhile, will be looking for a win to restore some pride.

Team news


Japan will make Rugby World Cup history when Craig Wing becomes their oldest-ever RWC debutant at 35 years old. Wing is one of four changes made to the side that beat Samoa, with head coach Eddie Jones selecting Hiroshi Yamashita over Kensuke Hatakeyama. Yoshikazu Fujita also comes in on the wing for Akihito Yamada, who drops out of the match-day 23.

Keita Inagaki, Shota Horie, Hiroshi Yamashita, Luke Thompson, Justin Ives, Michael Leitch (captain), Michael Broadhurst, Ryu Koliniasi Holani, Fumiaki Tanaka, Kosei Ono, Kotaro Matsushima, Craig Wing, Harumichi Tatekawa, Yoshikazu Fujita, Ayumu Goromaru.

Replacements: Takeshi Kizu, Masataka Mikami, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Shinya Makabe, Amanaki Lelei Mafi, Hendrik Tui, Atsushi Hiwasa, Karne Hesketh.


The USA are fielding a much-changed side to the lineup that lost to South Africa on Wednesday with only Samu Manoa and Zach Test retaining their starting places. Chris Wyles, who's set to captain the side, will equal Mike MacDonald's World Cup appearance record when he makes his 11th World Cup cap.

Eric Fry, Zach Fenoglio, Titi Lamositele, Hayden Smith, Greg Peterson, Al McFarland, Andrew Durutalo, Samu Manoa, Mike Petri, AJ MacGinty, Zach Test, Thretton Palamo, Seamus Kelly, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Chris Wyles (captain).

Replacements: Phil Thiel, Oli Kilifi, Chris Baumann, Cam Dolan, John Quill, Danny Barrett, Niku Kruger, Folau Niua.

Key head-to-head battle

The battle of the full backs. Ayumu Goromaru has topped a lot of headlines at this year's tournament, and after three games he already has 45 points to his name, enough to rank third in the points-scorer list. Chris Wyles, on the opposing end of the field, has 28 points in Rugby World Cup history, and any extras from him will place him outright second in Eagles history behind Mike Hercus' 77. It'll be interesting to see who emerges on top between the two 15s.

Key stats

• The two sides met earlier this year in the Pacific Nations Cup, with USA beating Japan 23-18.
• USA have met Japan 21 times, with the Brave Blossoms emerging victorious just eight times.
• USA's 39-26 victory over Japan in the 2003 World Cup was their biggest winning margin in the competition's history.


Clouds will hang over Gloucester during the morning, but by kickoff they'll have disappeared and the Kingsholm will be treated to clear skies and sunshine, roughly in the region of 15 degrees Celsius.


Unibet are offering an American win at 27/5, with the other option of a Japanese victory priced at 1/8.


The Eagles won't be lacking any motivation Sunday afternoon as they'll be desperate not to finish pointless and rock bottom of the pool. However, Eddie Jones' side have been impressive so far and despite losing to the Eagles back in July, they've displayed enough in this tournament to show they're capable of turning that result on its head. Japan by 10 points.