Rugby World Cup
Ives ruled out of World Cup
ESPNscrum Staff
September 9, 2011
Japan boss John Kirwan addresses the media, Japan v Australia A, Pacific Nations Cup, Level Five Stadium, Fukuoka, Japan, June 8, 2008
Ives' withdrawal will come as a big blow to coach Kirwan © Getty Images

Japan's Justin Ives has been replaced in the squad by Yuji Kitagawa as the New Zealand-born second row has struggled to recover from an injury to his left knee.

Ives hurt his anterior cruciate ligament during Japan's 31-24 defeat by Italy on August 14 and had been ruled out for the Brave Blossoms' first World Cup game against France on Saturday.

Coach John Kirwan had said after the captain's run there was a possibility Ives would have to return to Japan for extensive treatment. "He may need to go back. It's very disappointing," Kirwan said.

The 25-year-old Kitagawa, who plays for the Japanese Top League club Panasonic Wild Knights with the nickname 'Jumbo', could join the team as early as Sunday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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