TOKYO, 18 Oct – Comments from Japan centre Ryoto Nakamura and winger Kenki Fukuoka at a press conference at the team hotel on Friday.
Kenki Fukuoka (JPN)
On South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe, who he faced in sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
“He’s the example of how players with not much size like us can compete at the world’s top-level and exert their strengths. It’s pleasing he’s keeping his eye on me.”
On dealing with kicks:
“Last time (in defeat to South Africa) I was off (with injury). I’ve had some good moments in training and I believe I can compete if I make the kind of jump I’m capable of producing.”
On how his team keeps on winning:
“We went through lots of tough training camps and created ‘one team’. We’ve become a team that can fight, trusting each other. Also, there’s definitely the experience of 2015, when we produced but couldn’t reach the last eight.
“We have the cheers from the people of Japan driving us. It’s a huge motivation for someone like me who wants to excite the crowd on a big stage.”
Ryoto Nakamura (JPN)
On how many tries he expects from wingers Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima:
“I want two each, especially given both of them are near the top of the try-scoring chart for the tournament. I want them to aim for the top.”
On defeat by South Africa in a warm-up game last month:
“The game was more about checking where our level was at that time and to make the step-up (from the Pacific Nations Cup). The result wasn’t at the front of things. This time we have to win, even by a point. It will come down to how much we can execute small details.”
On his tackling:
“It’s something that is normal for a player honed to compete at international level. I’ve gained confidence through (playing for) the Sunwolves (in Super Rugby) and test matches. I have distinct confidence that it is my strength.
“We have got fantastic players on the outside so I’ll leave that to them and contribute by putting myself on the line.”