TOKYO – Japan's Michael Leitch has resumed the captaincy for Sunday's World Cup game against Scotland in Yokohama, a match coach Jamie Joseph has called the most important in his team's history.
Leitch will lead an experienced side, which includes the recalled hooker Shota Horie and veteran lock Luke Thompson, for the 32nd time against Scotland in the final game of the World Cup pool phase.
The winner is likely to advance to the quarter-finals from Pool A, which could potentially end up with three teams on 15 points.
Coach Joseph had handed the armband to Pieter Labuschagne for the last two games against Ireland and Samoa to help take some of the spotlight off Leitch during Japan's unbeaten run.
“We all see him and feel just how much things he has to do,” Joseph told reporters. “He can't go outside the hotel without signing autographs.