Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo flanker Michael Leitch and Toyota Verblitz No. 8 Kazuki Himeno are among the 37 players named to the Japan squad for the upcoming autumn test series, the Japan Rugby Football Union said Monday.

Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo-Bay flanker Pieter "Lappies" Labuschagne will captain the men's national rugby team for the international fixtures, which begin with the Oct. 23 match against Australia at Showa Denko Dome in Oita Prefecture on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu.

Earlier this month, Japan head coach Jamie Joseph announced that Labuschagne will replace Leitch as captain, and named Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath utility back Ryoto Nakamura as vice captain.

Japan rugby players, including Michael Leitch (R), train in Miyazaki Prefecture on Oct. 2, 2021. (Kyodo)

The Brave Blossoms, who are currently training in Miyazaki Prefecture, will begin preparations for their four test matches by setting up a new training base in the hot spring resort of Beppu in Oita on Saturday.

After facing Australia at home, Japan move to Europe to play Ireland on Nov. 6, Portugal on Nov. 13 and Scotland on Nov. 20.

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