Japan coach Joseph relishing Twickenham 'cauldron'

Japan coach Jamie Joseph said he was looking forward to seeing his side tackle the challenge of playing England in the "cauldron" of Twickenham on Saturday.

The match sees the Brave Blossoms up against one of their pool opponents at next year's Rugby World Cup in France, with Japan taking on the tournament hosts in Toulouse on November 20.

But former New Zealand international Joseph insisted he was "not thinking about the World Cup this weekend" as Japan bid for a first Test win over England.

This fixture will be just Japan's third game at 'headquarters' and first since a 35-15 loss four years ago where they led 15-10 at half-time.

"It's a big game for us, playing England at Twickenham," Joseph told reporters after naming his team on Thursday.

"It's one of rugby's biggest challenges for a player."

"It's a cauldron at Twickenham and it can be very intimidating if you are not ready for it, but I think our guys are.

"I think they are really excited that they are going to be 23 men representing Japan in front of 80,000 Englishmen."

England lost 30-29 to Argentina in their Autumn opener at Twickenham last week but Joseph still played down Japan's chances.

"I don't believe we are under pressure. I don't think anybody expects us to win that game but we've got 23 guys who are very motivated to do well."

Japan will field a near identical starting XV to the one that suffered a narrow 38-31 loss to New Zealand in Tokyo last month.

The only change is a direct swap on the left wing, with Gerhard van den Heever moving into the starting side and Siosaia Fifita dropping to the bench.

Atsushi Sakate will once again lead the side from hooker, while a dynamic back-row features Kazuki Himeno, former captain Michael Leith and Tevita Tatafu at No 8.

With van den Heever on the left wing, crowd favourite and World Cup hero Kotaro Matsushima covers the right wing.

As for England's form, Joseph refused to read too much into the Argentina result.

"It was their first match since July," he said. "When it counts, they are a very resilient team.

"They overcame the (possibility of) a series loss by winning two (matches) in a row against Australia. That's the kind of team we are up against."

The Cherry Blossoms are renowned for a free-running style that is in marked contrast to England's forward-orientated game.

"We play rugby differently and we know we have to deal with ball-pressure," said Joseph. "I guess the turning point for us will be if we can do that, we can play our own brand of rugby."

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