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Michael Leitch reclaims captaincy for Scotland clash

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has named his strongest team for their crucial Rugby World Cup pool clash with Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday.

Joseph draws on the experience of his most senior players, with Japan going into the weekend having won their three preceding pool matches.

Michael Leitch returns as the game captain after Pieter Labuschagne took on the role for the past two games.

Hooker Shota Horie, second-row Luke Thompson, wing Kenki Fukuoka and full-back William Tupou have all been given the nod to start.

Thompson is Japan's most experienced Rugby World Cup performer, making his 13th appearance on Sunday.

Leitch will make his 12th and Horie his 11th, while fly-half Yu Tamura is the top scorer of Rugby World Cup 2019 going into the final pool weekend.

Tamura has 40 points to his name and is 12 points clear of second-placed Elton Jantjies of South Africa.

Second-row Wimpie van der Walt and wing Lomano Lemeki - the latter the player of the match against Samoa - miss out on the 23.

Japan are currently top of Pool A on 14 points with Ireland second on 11 and Scotland on 10 as the battle for qualification reaches its climax.

Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 James Moore, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki

Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka

Date: Sunday, October 13

Venue: International Stadium Yokohama

Kick-off: 19:45 local (11:45 BST, 10:45 GMT)

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)

Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Matthew Carley (England)

TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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