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TOP > What’s New > Japan names 45-man squad for clash with Germany

What’s New

Japan names 45-man squad for clash with Germany


No team has more experience facing German teams than the Obic Seagulls. That, and the fact that Obic is the four-time X-League champions, makes it only fitting that the Seagulls would have the most members selected for the national team’s upcoming clash against Germany.


Linebacker Masayoshi Tsukada, who was chosen as the team captain, was among 11 Seagulls-12 if you include soon-to-be-rookie linebacker Yo Sawada of Kansai University-who made the final 45-man roster for the German-Japan Bowl II to be played Saturday at the renovated Kawasaki Fujimi Stadium.


Obic defensive tackle Shota Tomita and cornerback Masashi Fujimoto are among eight players recently chosen for the 2013 All X-League team who made the cut along with Lixil Deers wide receiver Naoki Maeda and Panasonic Impulse safety Ryohei Imanishi, who will serve as one of the vice-captains.


Panasonic and Lixil both had nine players selected, while the Japan X Bowl runner-up Fujitsu Frontiers placed eight players on the squad to be led by Lixil head coach Kiyoyuki Mori. The Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers had three players chosen, while there is one each from the Nojima Sagamihara Rise, Asahi Beer Silver Star and IBM Big Blue.  Sawada was one of two collegians picked.


Obic’s Shun Sugawara, Fujitsu’s Keiya Hiramoto and Lixil’s Shohei Kato were the quarterbacks chosen to lead the offense, while Nojima’s Eisuke Tomatsu and Fujitsu’s Keita Takanohashi will join Hara in the backfield. Panasonic’s Eita Saeki will handle both kicking and punting duties.


The game, which kicks off at 1 p.m., will serve as a tuneup for Japan ahead of its Asian qualifying  game for the 2015 IFAF World Championship against the Philippines on April 26. It will also provide European champion Germany a chance to close the gap with Japan ahead of the World Championship in Sweden in June 2015.


The two teams met in the first German-Japan Bowl in 2010 in Dusseldorf, with Japan coming away with a 24-14 win. Over the past two years, Obic ventured to Germany to face teams in the German league and won both. In 2012, the Seagulls defeated the Dresden Monarchs 29-17, then routed the Dusseldorf Panther 34-3 last year.


Germany, which has sent three players to the NFL, will have a size advantage. But Japan has countered with an offensive line that, while shorter, has an average weight of 124 kgs. Japan, looking ahead to 2015, will send out a young team, with just three players 30 or older.


The German team is scheduled to arrive on Thursday and practice at Kawasaki Fujimi Stadium on Friday.


Japan National Team


Quarterbacks (3)

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

Running Backs (3)

Takuto Hara (Obic); Eisuke Tomatsu (Nojima); Keita Takanohashi (Fujitsu)

Wide Receivers (7)

Yuta Hayashi (Asahi Beer); Ryoma Hagiyama (Obic); Naohiko Shibata (Panasonic); Shoma Endo (Panasonic); Yasushi Nakagawa (Lixil); Naoki Maeda (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.); Yuki Ikeda (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.)

Defensive Backs (8)

Keizaburo Isagawa (Obic); Masashi Fujimoto (Obic); Toshinori Masutani (Panasonic); 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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