Japan vs England Predictions: Borthwick to get one over Eddie

 | Friday 21st June 2024, 14:28pm

Friday 21st June 2024, 14:28pm

Alex Cox Rugby Union

The Summer Internationals get underway this weekend with Eddie Jones’ Japan hosting Borthwick’s England in Tokyo on Saturday (06:50). This is England’s first stop on their summer tour, before they head south to New Zealand for a two Test series vs the All Blacks.

Read on Alex Cox's Japan vs England prediction, where Jones’ new-look Japan side will be trying to act as a banana skin for Borthwick’s England – but he reckons the English will be too strong across the park and should win this convincingly.

Japan vs England Betting Tips

  • England -21.5 Handicap @ 10/11

This will be Eddie Jones’ first match back in charge of Japan after his controversial stint as the Wallabies Coach and he has chosen to look ahead to the future by naming a young side to take on England. Japan haven’t played an International match since their World Cup group exit last year and they’ll certainly be looking to start their next cycle with a positive result at home in Tokyo.

However, they will be up against a very strong England side that found some confidence in the final matches of the Six Nations earlier this year after impressive performances against Ireland and France. Borthwick has begun the evolution of the game plan and started to play more expansive rugby which may answer his decision to select Marcus Smith ahead of Fin Smith for his starting Fly-Half.

England will extremely keen to put a marker down on this summer tour and put a fresh-looking Japanese squad to the sword. Although Jones will likely have some tricks up his sleeve, England should be too strong both up-front and out-wide and comfortably put away Japan.

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Eddie Jones has vocalized he will be prioritizing youth ahead of Japan’s Summer Internationals, although I’m not sure many expected that he would name eight uncapped players in his squad but a few injuries and a few still in France has enforced that. It will certainly be a challenge for this inexperienced side with an average test cap number of 11 across the side.

Mohara, Harada and Takeuchi will combine in the front-row – with the former two on debut. Waqa and Dearns are the second-row partnership. Talisman and skipper Leitch will be on one Flank with Costley on debut on the other side. Finally, Makisi will be the No.8 to complete the pack.

Saito and Lee are the half-back pairing and have some experience under their belts. Osada and Riley will combine in the Midfield – the latter always impressing when he gets an opportunity. The wingers will be Nezuka and Naikabula, with 20-year-old Yazaki chosen at full-back on debut. Yazaki has never played a game of Professional rugby as he is still at University but clearly, Eddie saw something he liked!


Borthwick has not opted to give his wider squad a run-out in this contest – meaning it is arguably England’s strongest squad other than injuries to Genge, Chessum and Ford. Therefore, the front-row will be Rodd, George and Cole and they will certainly be focused on targeting the inexperienced Japanese scrum.

With Chessum out, its Itoje and Martin as the second-row partnership. Cunningham-South impressed his Six Nations cameos plus his end of season games for Harlequins, meaning Borthwick gives him a start on the flank alongside the tackling machine that is Underhill. Finally, Earl will be the No.8 in charge of helping England win the gain line battle.

Mitchell continues his stint as the starting scrum-half and Borthwick has opted for Marcus Smith as the starting fly-half with Fin Smith on the bench. Lawrence and Slade built a strong midfield partnership in the Six Nations and they continue there this week.

Despite some England fans wanting Northampton’s Sleightholme to be given an opportunity, few can argue that a wing combination of Feyi-Waboso in and Freeman isn’t exciting and Furbank’s form means he will be at full-back.

Japan vs England Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Japan vs England page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Japan are huge 10/1 outsiders to win this one, while an England victory is as short as 1/25, and the draw is at 33/1.

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England -21.5 Handicap @ 10/11

I had expected to see a few of the wider squad get some minutes in this Test match, however Borthwick has opted to go full guns blazing to give him the momentum into that first Test in Dunedin in two weeks time.

One thing that will be on the Japanese side is the conditions. Tokyo at this time of the year is hot and humid and therefore not something that England will be used to. England have been training with soapy wet rugby balls in training to try and replicate conditions however the humidity will certainly prove a factor. 

However, the England scrum should be dominant throughout and give them a platform to launch attacks deep in Japanese territory. Japan will be trying to move this England side around, however, I think they will struggle to match them in the set-piece which will make things challenging over the course of the game.

Find more Rugby Union Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights.

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