Rugby World Cup 2023 – Kazuki Himeno (captain of Japan): “We call it “samurai time””

Happy with the success against Samoa, Japanese coach Jamie Joseph and his captain Kazuki Himeno are already looking ahead to the last decisive match against Argentina.

Kazuki Himeno, third row and captain

Japan’s game plan

Our plan is to play our rugby with speed, with quickness. We are improving ourselves. And I think speed will be important against Argentina. I am happy and proud that the forwards scored tries.

His performance as captain

Regarding my performance, I’ll let you evaluate it. Concerning my physical condition, I am better. And I’m happy if my team wins. Before the match, I spoke to my teammates. There was no worry. For the next match, I think there is no need for changes. We must continue to respect each of our roles. We didn’t change our game plan after the red card, we continued to concentrate and play our rugby.

The “samurai time”

We had prepared for this difficult moment at the end of the match. We call it “samurai time”, meaning we are brave and confident as a team. We succeeded this evening against a difficult Samoan team.

Jamie Joseph, Japan coach

On the performance of his team

It was a more experienced Samoa team that we played. Both teams have made a lot of progress over the past two months (Japan’s lost Test Match, Editor’s note). We gave ourselves an opportunity this evening.

The choice of points instead of going for the offensive bonus

The captain makes the decisions. We were prepared for Himeno to make the decisions. We give the players the choice, we give them a lot of confidence.

On the next decisive match against Argentina

We try to prepare our players to make the right decisions. We have an opportunity to reach the quarter-finals. Today was a first step in trying to get there. Against Argentina, we will have a second opportunity. The Samoa team was very physical, very difficult. The match between the two teams was very balanced. In the last match against them, we had a red card, and we lost. This time it was different.

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