Ruddock seeks positive end to autumn

Wales will conclude their eventful autumn Test programme on Friday night, with coach Mike Ruddock declaring: "We want to finish the series on a high." [more]

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Wales will conclude their eventful autumn Test programme on Friday night, with coach Mike Ruddock declaring: "We want to finish the series on a high."

A Welsh victory should not be in doubt, given that Japan – crushed 100-8 by Scotland two weeks ago – provide the Millennium Stadium opposition for Ruddock’s men.

But after narrow defeats against southern hemisphere heavyweights South Africa and New Zealand, Ruddock wants a stylish send-off to 2004.

"We will be looking to maintain and improve upon our performances against South Africa, Romania and New Zealand, and play with the same high tempo, width and style which is fast becoming our trademark," he said.

"We want to finish the series on a high and give the fans more of what they have enjoyed already.

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"The RBS 6 Nations Championship is just around the corner, and we need to go into our preparations for the first match against England with a good performance against Japan under our belts.

"Each player selected is playing for their jersey and for a place in the starting line-up against England," Ruddock added.

"We’ve said all along that we are looking for continuity in selection and performance throughout the autumn series, and the final Test against Japan is no exception.

"One of our goals was to create cohesion in the team and in the squad as we build towards the Six Nations."

Teams for Wales versus Japan, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Friday, 7pm.

Wales: R Williams; H Luscombe, T Shanklin, G Henson, S Williams; C Sweeney, G Cooper; Duncan Jones, M Davies, G Jenkins, B Cockbain, J Thomas, Dafydd Jones, C Charvis (capt), M Owen.

Replacements: S Jones, A Jones, R Jones, M Williams, M Phillips, A Popham, K Morgan.

Japan: R Miki; K Kubota, M Mukoyama, Y Motoki, H Daimon; H Yoshida, W Ikeda; M Yamamoto, T Yamaoka, R Yamamura, H Kiso, T Kumagae, F Mau, N Okubo, T Miuchi (capt).

Replacements: M Yamamoto, T Nishiura, K Kubo, T Yamaguchi, K Tanaka, S Imari, T Otao.

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