Japan have dropped all their foreign players while South Korea have recalled three veteran forwards - missing from the tour of Hong Kong earlier this year - for the Asian Rugby Football Tournament (ARFT), which starts on Saturday in Taipei. The Korean coach and manager from the Hong Kong tour have also been replaced by new personnel. The sweeping changes by the Korean Rugby Football Union are seen as a move to wipe out the bad memories of the two Test losses to Hong Kong in February. The Koreans, who finished runners-up at the last ARFT, are grouped with Hong Kong. The crunch match will be played on November 7, with the winners certain of meeting holders Japan in the final 48 hours later. Holding the psychological high ground presently, Hong Kong will fancy their chances of entering the final. Hong Kong's hopes of winning their first Asian title have also been boosted by the news that Japan, forced to comply with an Asian Rugby Football Union rule, will not be fielding any foreign players in their squad. This rules out Pacific Rim players like giant Fijian back-rower Bruce Ferguson, former Scotland under-21 lock David Bickle and Kiwi centre Andrew McCormick. Another expatriate out is veteran flanker Sione Latu. Former Wallaby Glen Ella, who coached Japan at the Pacific Rim, and has now been called to lead the ARFT campaign, told the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union magazine Rugby Talk that he was, however, not unduly worried about the absence of the country's foreign players. 'I have no doubt that Japan possess the talent to compensate for the loss of these players,' said Ella. The ARFU recently brought in a ruling which prevented member unions from playing foreign players. This ruling even superseded the IRB's three-year residency qualification. It is understood that Korea had pressed for a more stringent rule to govern the Asian tournament, hence the no-foreigners rule. Hong Kong, however, have been given a special dispensation with a one-year residency qualification applying. Since next week's ARFT is not a World Cup qualifier, the Japanese will not be too worried. They will use the tournament to bring on their younger players, safe in the knowledge that when it comes to the 1999 World Cup qualifications, the IRB ruling will stand, thus allowing their current crop of foreigners in as they have all stayed over three years in Japan. Korea, meanwhile, will rely on former captain and lock Kim Young-choon, flanker Cho Jin-sick and prop Park Sung-gyu to revitalise the side who lost badly in Hong Kong. Second-rower Kim has played in every Asian tournament since 1984. Hong Kong officials had tried desperately to change the date of the game against Korea. But their attempts have failed and the territory are now resigned to the fact that they could face two hard games in the space of 48 hours - if Hong Kong enter the final.