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TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 18 at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
Japan’s last-gasp victory over Samoa on Saturday earned a local record peak TV audience share of 46.1% on NTV channel, World Rugby says.
It is believed the live audience is the biggest of the year in Japan.
The tournament’s fanzones were also packed out: 150,000 people attended to watch Japan on Saturday, surpassing the 130,000 for Japan-Ireland.
With more than 700,000 fans at fanzones so far, the 770,000 pool stage record at the 2015 Rugby World Cup is set to be broken.
Scotland has made 14 changes to its starting team to play Russia, the most ever by the Scots between Rugby World Cup games.
Only Darcy Graham, who’s moved from right wing to left wing, survives from the 34-0 drubbing of Samoa.
Among the 14 new players, flanker John Barclay will take over as captain. Regular skipper Stuart McInally is on the bench. Brothers George and Pete Horne are starting a Rugby World Cup game together first the first time, with George in at scrumhalf for Greig Laidlaw and Pete at inside center.
Adam Hastings, son of Scotland great Gavin, starts at flyhalf.
Scotland must beat underdog Russia in Shizuoka on Wednesday to retain a chance of making the quarterfinals. The final Pool A game for Scotland will be the real tester, against unbeaten host Japan when a quarterfinal place will be on the line in Yokohama.
Because of that, Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has decided to give most of his first-choice team a rest for Russia.
Scotland: Blair Kinghorn, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor, Pete Horne, Darcy Graham, Adam Hastings, George Horne; Ryan Wilson, Fraser Brown, John Barclay, Ben Toolis, Scott Cummings, Zander Fagerson, George Turner, Gordon Reid. Reserves: Stuart McInally, Simon Berghan, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Henry Pyrgos, Chris Harris.
Lock Tomas Lavanini will miss Argentina’s last Pool C match against the United States on Wednesday as expected after receiving a four-match suspension following the disciplinary hearing for his red card against England last Saturday.
Lavanini admitted his shoulder-led charge into the neck of flyhalf Owen Farrell at Tokyo Stadium was a red card offense, and the second red card of his test career didn’t warrant a 50% discount from a six-game sanction.
The panel suspended him for the U.S. match, and three matches for his Northampton club in the English Premiership on Oct. 12, 19, and 27.
Flyhalf Dan Biggar has been cleared to face Fiji on Wednesday in Oita, where a win will move the Six Nations champion into the quarterfinals against old rivals England or France.
Biggar, who is first-choice kicker and has 376 points from 75 test matches, had to leave the field during the first half of the 29-25 win against Australia after sustaining a head injury when making a try-saving tackle on center Samu Kerevi.
He then failed a head injury assessment and was replaced by Rhys Patchell, who is on the bench against Fiji.
Wales coach Warren Gatland has made only two changes to the lineup which started against the Wallabies.
Both are in the back row, with Ross Moriarty replacing Aaron Wainwright at No. 8 and James Davies making his World Cup debut at openside flanker instead of Justin Tipuric.
Wainwright goes to the bench, where the only other change in the reserves sees Rhys Carre in for Nicky Smith at loosehead prop.
Wales: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Ross Moriarty, James Davies, Josh Navidi, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Jake Ball, Tom Francis, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones. Reserves: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Aaron Shingler, Aaron Wainwright, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin.
Record point-scorer Nicolas Sanchez was back for Argentina’s last Pool C match against the United States on Wednesday in Kumagaya after being dropped from the matchday 23 that lost to England 39-10 on Saturday.
Argentina’s failure to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years was confirmed by France’s win over Tonga on Sunday.
Sanchez, the Pumas’ first-choice flyhalf coming into the Rugby World Cup, seemed to be made the scapegoat for the opening loss to France. He was in the reserves for the win against Tonga, then missed out completely for the crunch game with England that was close until the 18th minute when lock Tomas Lavanini was sent off for a high tackle.
Sanchez was among nine changes to the starting lineup, five in the backline.
Coming in were prop Santiago Medrano, lock Matias Alemanno, flanker Juan Manuel Leguizamon, and No. 8 Rodrigo Bruni in the pack.
Brought into the backline were scrumhalf Felipe Ezcurra, Sanchez, center Juan Cruz Mallia, wing Bautista Delguy, and fullback Joaquin Tuculet.
Ezcurra will be making his second start for Argentina in seven matches. His first was against South Africa in August.
Tuculet makes his first appearance in the tournament. He started five games in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, scoring against Tonga, and Ireland in the quarterfinals.
Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Bautista Delguy, Juan Cruz Mallia, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Santiago Carreras, Nicolas Sanchez, Felipe Ezcurra; Rodrigo Bruni, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera (captain), Matias Alemanno, Guido Petti, Santiago Medrano, Julian Montoya, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Reserves: Agustin Creevy, Mayco Vivas, Enrique Pieretto Heiland, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lezana, Gonzalo Martin Bertranou, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Matias Moroni.
Fiji swapped Viliame Mata in at No. 8 for Peceli Yato in the only change to the starting lineup that beat Georgia 45-10 last week for the Pool D match against Wales on Wednesday in Oita. Yato was in the reserves.
Seven of the Fiji XV which started against Wales at the 2015 Rugby World Cup start again: The tight five of Campese Ma’afu, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavubati, and Leone Nakarawa, captain and flanker Dominiko Waqaniburotu, flyhalf Ben Volavola and wing Lepani Botia in that 23-13 loss in Cardiff.
If Nakarawa makes one more carry, he will hold the outright record for Fiji in Rugby World Cup history. Nakarawa
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