Japan bullish about beating Ireland in Rugby World Cup clash
World Cup hosts Japan are confident of "beating anyone", livewire scrum-half Yutaka Nagare said ahead of their crunch Pool A match against Ireland on Saturday.
Four years ago, Japan shocked the sport by pulling off a thrilling 34-32 victory over South Africa and it is a measure of just how far the Brave Blossoms have come that they believe they can push one of the northern hemisphere's best teams.
"We're confident of beating anyone in the world," said a defiant Nagare, who edged out veteran Fumiaki Tanaka for a starting role in Japan's 30-10 victory over Russia in Tokyo on Friday.
"It's all about belief in what we've accumulated in training. We need to demonstrate intent and attention to detail.
"This is a World Cup, you always need to give 100 per cent to be able to win, as was the case for Russia and will be the case for Ireland. My mindset is that we need to beat them to make the last eight."
Joe Schmidt's Ireland, however, will be a different proposition from Russia.
The Irish, briefly World Rugby's No. 1-ranked team in the build-up to the World Cup, kicked off their campaign with a comprehensive 27-3 victory over Scotland.
"Ireland don't make many mistakes and they're very resilient, a very strong, quality side," said Nagare.
"Everyone thinks Ireland will win. Ireland are expected to win, but we truly believe we can prove them wrong.
"We're just focused on beating this team." - AFP