Japan's Lomano Lemeki, left, is tackled by Russia's Vladimir Ostroushko as Russia's Vasily Artemyev, right, watches during the Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Tokyo Stadium between Russia and Japan in Tokyo last Friday. Photo: AP Photo/Jae Hong

SHIZUOKA – Japan made a late change to their starting team to play Ireland on Saturday when winger Lomano Lemeki was added to the lineup in place of Will Tupou an hour before kick-off.

The 1.77 metre Lemeki started in the opening day win against Russia but coach Jamie Joseph opted to bring in Ryohei Yamanaka at fullback and shift Will Tupou to the wing to add some height to his back three ahead of an expected Irish aerial threat.

The dangerous Kenki Fukuoka, whose injury in the leadup to the tournament ruled him out of the Russian game and was "touch and go" before initially missing out on the matchday squad for Ireland, was added to the replacements bench. 

The Japan team is:

1. Keita Inagaki
2. Shota Horie
3. Jiwon Koo
4. Luke Thompson
5. James Moore
6. Kazuki Himeno
7. Pieter Labuschagne (capt.)
8. Amanaki Lelei Mafi
9. Yutaka Nagare
10. Yu Tamura
11. Lomano Lemeki
12. Ryoto Nakamura
13. Timothy Lafaele
14. Kotaro Matsushima 
15. Ryohei Yamanaka

Bench:
16. Atsushi Sakate
17. Isileli Nakajima
18. Asaeli Ai Valu
19. Wimpie van der Walt
20. Michael Leitch
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Rikiya Matsuda
23. Kenki Fukuoka

Reuters