(Reuters) – Wingers Akihito Yamada and Yoshikazu Fujita, who both played a part in Japan’s stunning rugby World Cup campaign last year, have been omitted dropped from the country’s rugby sevens squad for the Rio Olympics, the JRFU said on Sunday.
Yamada had seen limited playing time with the sevens squad under head coach Tomohiro Segawa, and a calf injury sustained late last month interrupted the Sunwolves player’s training ahead of the squad selection for the Olympics.
Kenki Fukuoka, who was also part of the ‘Brave Blossoms’ World Cup squad, was included in the squad, which will be captained by Yusaku Kuwazuru as rugby union returns to the Games for the first time in 92 years in the sport’s shorter format.
Japan qualified for the Aug. 5-21 Olympics by winning the Asia Rugby Sevens qualifier last November, and will face New Zealand, Britain and Kenya in Pool C in the 12-team tournament.
(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru)