Japanese players applaud fans after a match against the All Blacks. Picture: Getty Images
Japanese players applaud fans after a match against the All Blacks. Picture: Getty Images

$25 a day: Japan’s rugby ‘amateurs’ set to tackle England

JAPAN is playing England this weekend for the first time since the so-called amateur era.

And being paid like it.

Coach Jamie Joseph says his team of "amateurs" receive less than $A25 a day each on tour.

Meanwhile, England's players will receive more than $A44,000 each after the Test at Twickenham (Sunday, 2am AEDT) in their first match-up since the 1987 Rugby World Cup.

"Our home-based players are amateurs. They are employees of companies and receive 2000 yen a day," Joseph said.

"To be here and play a team like England is a great opportunity for a footy team and a footy player.

"Our professional players, the foreign-based players, don't get paid for playing for Japan.

"If you put that all together, we have got different motivators and we just want to get out and leave our footprint behind."

Japan will be covered in footprints if England coach Eddie Jones has his way.

Joseph laughed off advice from his predecessor Jones that Japan should seek divine intervention for their Test against England.

Jones warned Japan that England would be "absolutely ruthless" at Twickenham, eager to "physically smash" the Japanese in response to losing to New Zealand 16-15 last weekend.

Jones, who coached Japan from 2012-15, quipped that Japan should find a temple and "pray, pray, pray," but Joseph wasn't fazed.

Joseph said he wouldn't be going to any temples, but would be praying for a game without rain.

"In tough conditions it's tough to get our game going, so we're hoping and praying for a bit of (good) weather," he said.

"When we've got the ball and guys are really excited about playing, we've got a different style of play - we're not as big as others, but we're quick."

The Japan team watched the England-New Zealand Test, and former Alll Blacks loose forward Joesph enjoyed the cut and thrust in the rain.

"Those types of games are exactly what rugby's all about in my view. But I suspect the game that we play, how the All Blacks play, and the fact England have had a few matches, it could be a little bit different this weekend," he said.

"We don't want rain come kick-off time, and we've shown over the last couple of years if we can get our game going we can push teams hard."

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