TOKYO - Jamie Joseph caused a stir when naming his starting lineup for Japan's Rugby World Cup Pool A meeting with Samoa on Saturday as, although he brought back regular captain Michael Leitch at flanker, Pieter Labuschagne was named skipper.
Leitch, the face of Japanese rugby and captain of the Brave Blossoms since 2014, was left on the bench for the beginning of their upset win over Ireland before coming on in the first half for the injured Amanaki Mafi.
Labuschagne captained the side in Shizuoka but Leitch was expected to step back into the role on his return.
Joseph, however, had other ideas and it is Labuschagne who will lead the Brave Blossoms out against Samoa in Toyota City.
Japan said it does not matter who is listed as captain as both players, who combine with Kazuki Himeno in an imposing back row, will be leaders on the pitch.