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TOP > What’s New > Japan makes 5 changes for clash with Philippines

What’s New

Japan makes 5 changes for clash with Philippines


Fleet-footed wide receivers Takeshi Akiyama and Junpei Yoshimoto, who helped the Fujitsu Frontiers come one win away from a first-ever X-League title last season, were included on the Japan national team roster for its upcoming game against the Philippines.


Head coach Kiyoyuki Mori and his staff made five changes to the team that defeated Germany 38-0 in an exhibition game on April 12 in Kawasaki. Japan faces the Philippines on April 26 at Tokyo’s Amino Vital in an Asian qualifying game for the 2015 IFAF World Championship in Sweden.


Akiyama and Yoshimoto filled the places of the Obic Seagulls’ Ryoma Hagiyama and the Lixil Deers’ Naoki Maeda, both of whom caught a pair of touchdown passes in the win over Germany. There was one other change on offense, with Nojima Sagamihara Rise running back Takashi Miyako making the squad in place of Fujitsu’s Keita Takanohashi.


Four-time league champion Obic remained the best-represented team, with defensive back Takeshi Miyake’s selection in place of the Panasonic Impulse’s Toshinori Masutani leaving the Seagulls with 12 players on the squad, including rookie-to-be Yo Sawada of Kansai University.


Fujitsu now has nine members on the team, while Lixil and Panasonic have eight each. The Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers have three players, Nojima has two and the Asahi Beer Silver Star and IBM BigBlue one each. The other roster change saw one collegian replaced by another at linebacker.


The quarterbacks remained as Obic’s Shun Sugawara, Fujitsu’s Keiya Hiramoto and Lixil’s Shohei Kato.


Four teams are participating in the Asian qualifying round for two places in the World Championship-in order of ranking: Japan, South Korea, Kuwait and the Philippines. In the other pairing, South Korea defeated Kuwait 69-7 on April 12 to earn a ticket to Sweden.


The game kicks off at 1 p.m. Tickets are priced at ¥2,000 and ¥3,000 (¥1,500 and ¥2,500 in advance) and ¥500 for elementary school students. For access to Amino Vital Stadium, see http://www.ajinomotostadium.com/access/


Japan National Team


Quarterbacks (3)

Shun Sugawara (Obic); Keiya Hiramoto (Fujitsu); Shohei Kato (Lixil)

Running Backs (3)

Takuto Hara (Obic); Eisuke Tomatsu (Nojima); Takashi Miyako (Nojima)

Wide Receivers (7)

Yuta Hayashi (Asahi Beer); Naohiko Shibata (Panasonic); Shoma Endo (Panasonic); Takeshi Akiyama (Fujitsu); Junpei Yoshimoto (Fujitsu); Yasushi Nakagawa (Lixil); Yasuhiro Miyamoto (Lixil)

Tight Ends (2)

Akimitsu Mori (Obic); Tomoaki Ohashi (Fujitsu)

Linemen (8)

Haruhisa Kurokawa (Asahi Soft Drinks); Takehito Noda (Asahi Soft Drinks); Yusuke Yamamoto (Obic); Masahiro Asano (Panasonic); Takayuki Suzuki (Panasonic); Yutaro Kobayashi (Fujitsu); Tetsuya Saita (Fujitsu); Kohei Arai (Lixil)


Linemen (7)

Toru Hirasawa (Asahi Soft Drinks); Yoshihiro Nakada (Obic); Shota Tomita (Obic); Wataru Takeda (Panasonic); Takehiro Mitsui (Obic); Yo Okamoto (Fujitsu); Hiroyuki Shigechika (Lixil)

Linebackers (6)

Shuhei Takeuchi (Fujitsu); Masayoshi Tsukada (Obic); Yusuke Kishimoto (IBM); Kensuke Amaya (Lixil); Yo Sawada (Kansai Univ.); Yoshiki Tanaka (Hosei Univ.)

Defensive Backs (8)

Keizaburo Isagawa (Obic); Masashi Fujimoto (Obic); Takeshi Miyake (Obic); Ryohei Imanishi (Panasonic); Atsushi Tsuji (Panasonic); Atsushi Fujita (Fujitsu); Koki Kato (Lixil); Hidetoshi Yano (Lixil)


Kicker/Punter (1)

Eita Saeki (Panasonic)

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