Skipper Michael Leitch says every game is a final for Japan ahead of South Africa showdown

Sport360 staff 16:21 18/10/2019
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Japan are ready for the South Africa test.

Japan skipper Michael Leitch says his men are ready to give it their all in the Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-final ahead of the hosts’ clash against South Africa.

Leitch’s men have had a superb campaign so far on home soil and their Tokyo fixture against the Springboks is set to be their maiden appearance in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Speaking to the media ahead of Sunday’s pivotal clash, the Japan skipper explained that his side had achieved their first major objective of booking their place in the knock-outs. While that goal has been achieved for the hosts, Leitch has insisted that there will be no drop in intensity against South Africa with the side treating every clash as a final.

The Japan captain expressed his gratitude to have the weight of the entire nation behind them as they seek to make further history in the Rugby World Cup.


Watch what else Leitch had to say in the video above.









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Ben Youngs confident current England group can achieve big things in RWC 2019

Sport360 staff 16:12 18/10/2019
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England face Australia in the quarter-final.

Ahead of a hotly anticipated quarter-final showdown against old foes Australia, Ben Youngs has insisted that England are capable of achieving something special in the Rugby World Cup.

The Three Lions have disappointed in the 2011 and 2015 editions but the Leicester scrum-half is confident that the current bunch of players have what it takes to achieve something substantial in Japan.

England’s last World Cup meeting with the Wallabies in the 2015 edition ended in a 33-15 defeat but Youngs is adamant that the confidence is soaring in the camp ahead of Saturday’s clash.

It is the first World Cup knock-out clash for England since 2011 and coach Eddie Jones has opted to ring in the changes in midfield with Henry Slade set to replace George Ford.


Watch what Ben Youngs had to say ahead of the quarter-final test in the video above.









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RWC 2019: Ben Youngs insists England will take the game to Australia from opening whistle

Press Association Sport 15:56 18/10/2019
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England star Ben Youngs (l).

Ben Youngs has urged England to “fight right until the end” when they collide with Australia in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final at Oita Stadium.

The biggest moment of the Eddie Jones era arrives on the island of Kyushu as four years of build-up to Japan 2019 reaches a win or bust clash with the Wallabies that could shape the head coach’s future.

England have compiled a six-match winning run against Australia and enter the first of the weekend’s quarter-finals as clear favourites, but the Wallabies are battle hardened by a tougher group campaign.

Jones has called on his players to summon their samurai spirit, declaring “every time the samurais fought, one lived and one died” and Youngs has continued the theme.

“You aren’t going to go out there and accept things not going your way. You are going to fight right until the end,” the Leicester scrum-half said.

“We have some boys in this team who don’t know when they are beaten and I’m sure it goes without saying for any team participating this weekend that they will fight until the very end.”

Youngs is one of only three players in England’s starting XV to have appeared in a World Cup quarter-final with Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes also present for the 19-12 loss to France in 2011.

Four years ago they failed to reach the knockout phase, making Youngs’ experience invaluable.

“The message has been to take the game to them. The waiting’s over now, so it’s about going out there with intensity,” Youngs said.

“A World Cup quarter-final is a fantastic occasion. I was fortunate enough to play in 2011 …my experience of that is just about making sure the intensity of the game doesn’t shock you in the beginning.

“France raced ahead into a lead that day and we couldn’t pull ourselves back, so it’s down to making sure we come out of the blocks and bring that intensity from the start.

“I’m sure they will be saying the same thing, so I imagine the first 20 minutes will be pretty full-on. We need to make sure we get the start we want.”

England sprang a major surprise in selection by dropping George Ford and naming Owen Farrell at fly-half as part of a beefed up midfield that includes Tuilagi and Henry Slade.

Jones explained that the decision was shaped by the rampaging form of Australia centre Samu Kerevi, adding that his team want to defend with “brutality” against Michael Cheika’s underdogs.

“We enjoy defence, it’s part of our game. It’s infectious to us, it gives us energy,” defence coach John Mitchell said.

“Ultimately we want to be physical. It’s important to dominate the collision. That creates slowness of ball and it brings opportunities. Ultimately, defence is a form of attack and you have to feed your attack.

“Australia come with so many different threats, they are clever and they enjoy playing with width. It certainly makes everyone in our team aware.”

Provided by Press Association Sports

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