Three Aussies named in Japan rugby squad

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Australians Ben Gunter and Jack Cornelsen are in line for Test debuts for Japan after being named in coach Jamie Joseph's 36-man Brave Blossoms squad to face the British and Irish Lions next month.

Gunter and Jack Cornelsen join fellow Australian and 2019 World Cup star James Moore in the squad that will also play a warm-up game against former Super Rugby team the Sunwolves on June 12.

Japan will then play the Lions at Murrayfield in Scotland on June 26 and Ireland at Dublin on July 3.

The squad features players who helped Japan to the quarter-finals of the World Cup two years ago.

Captained by World Cup skipper Michael Leitch, it includes 23 capped players with a total of 476 Test appearance.

The squad also contains 16 players who took part in the Japan Top League club final on Sunday, including seven from the Robbie Deans-coached champions the Panasonic Wild Knights.

The Lions will play against Japan ahead of their tour to South Africa. The first match will be played in front of a crowd of 16,500 - quarter of the capacity at Murrayfield, but the largest for a rugby match in Britain in 16 months.

Japan is ranked 10th but beat Ireland and Scotland on the way to the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champions South Africa at the World Cup it hosted in 2019.

Japan squad: Forwards, Keita Inagaki, Asaeli Ai Valu, Shinnosuke Kakinaga, Jiwon Koo, Craig Millar, Yukio Morikawa, Atsushi Sakate, Shunta Nakamura, Kosuke Horikoshi, Mark Abbot, Wimpie van der Walt, Uwe Helu, James Moore, Naoki Ozawa, Ben Gunter, Jack Cornelsen, Pieter Labushagne, Michael Leitch (capt), Tevita Tatafu, Amanaki Lelei, Kazuki Himendo; Backs, Koki Arai, Naoto Saito, Kaito Shigeno, Yu Tamura, Rikiya Matsuda, Shota Emi, Siosaia Fifita, Semisi Masirewa, Kotaro Matsushima, Lomano Lava Lemeki, Shane Gates, Ryoto Nakamura, Timothy Lafaele, Gerhard vand den Heever, Ryohei Yamanaka.