Rugby World Cup: Japan coach Jamie Joseph says team want to play Scotland
Japan coach Jamie Joseph says his team are desperate to face Scotland at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday, and believes the Brave Blossoms deserve more respect for their unbeaten campaign so far.
Typhoon Hagibis has already forced two matches to be cancelled, with the hosts' pivotal Pool A clash against the Scots in Yokohama also in the balance.
A cancellation would see Japan progress to the quarter-finals.
"I'd like to remind people it hasn't been a fluke," Joseph said.
"We have played and won three Test matches, and that has put us in the best position in our pool.
"It has been a lot of hard work by a lot of people. This team has been in camp for 240 days this year alone.
"Everyone in our squad - players and staff - wants to play the Test match."
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'We are motivated by greatness - not embarrassment'
The Scotland camp are unhappy at the lack of contingency planning from tournament organisers, with Gregor Townsend's side facing elimination in the event of a cancellation.
The Scottish Rugby Union are also said to be considering legal action if the decisive clash doesn't go ahead.
"I think the key difference here between us and Scotland is we are driven and supported by the whole country," Joseph added.
"My team is motivated by achieving something that is great - not avoiding an embarrassment.
"All the media reports in the last few days are about an uncontrollable thing like the typhoon - and [the coverage] has really lost its way.
"The reports I have read are about legal proceedings, but what I'm saying is it's a huge Test match for our team and I feel that we have the most to lose as we are in the best position to top the pool.
"We all want to earn the right to be considered one of the elite teams in the world.
"It's important for us to wake up on Monday morning and understand that [either] we are a worthy top eight team or we are not quite good enough."
'We are an amateur rugby team'
Joseph has also pointed out the disparity between the resources of his side compared to Tier One outfits like Scotland.
"Whilst the majority of my players are professional in their companies, we are an amateur rugby team," he said.
"When our players are in camp with Japan they do not get paid - or they get about 100 bucks a day. I will let you make the comparisons to the other teams."
With Hagibis expected to wreak havoc in Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday, a decision will be made on Sunday morning as regards whether Japan against Scotland will go ahead, with Scotland boss Townsend saying he has faith that the match will be able to proceed as planned.