ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Thursday Nov 15, 2018

Young fan's trip to watch the All Blacks gives us a fascinating insight into the growth of Japanese rugby

A third string New Zealand side beat next year’s World Cup hosts Japan 69-31 last weekend, but for one family, the match was more than just seeing their country take on the number one side in the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Horage family from Nagareyama City in the north of the country made an epic trip southwards to Tokyo to not only support their own team, but to catch a glimpse of the All Blacks for the first time.

It is a great insight into how much the Japanese love their rugby and the match, which drew Japan’s largest attendance at over 40,000, is yet more proof that the country is embracing its hosting of the World Cup.

One of the Horages, Shunsaku, was particularly looking forward to the match and even wore the All Blacks jersey while supporting his home country, such is the respect and appreciation for New Zealand in Japan.

Despite succumbing to a far from full strength All Blacks side, Japan were impressive in their attack and only trailed the visitors by 38-19 at the half-time break. They scored more tries in the second period during a match which suited both squads; a fast, free-flowing encounter with plenty of tries for each.

The passion and knowledge – of Shunsaku and brother Yusaku – has typified Japan’s excitement for rugby at the moment and for good reason. They are more competitive than ever and sit just outside the top 10 in the World Rugby Rankings, three places ahead of 6 Nations stragglers Italy.

Japan may be a fair distance away from the top sides in the world, but it is a nation on the rise rapidly. Its flagship club franchise the Sunwolves have shown much stronger form in Super Rugby and its domestic league has been bolstered by star signings from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia for the past 10 years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Its strong showings on the international scene, boosted no end by its famous World Cup victory over South Africa in the last tournament, has given Japan a real shot in the arm. With the squad continuing to draw in more and more fans, both existing and new, there is a sense of real expectation come this time next year.

Related Articles

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Former international captain retires

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Tonga Qualify Rugby World Cup

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Julian Savea offers himself to the All Blacks...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Jero De La Fuente pulls Hamstring and uses it to score incredible try

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Waisale Serevi: The greatest sevens player ever

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    David Campese: The Aussie all time great

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    The man who once raced a Cheetah: Bryan Habana

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Controversial Etzebeth Incident Still Being Debated

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Juan Imhoff Takes Full Power Frans Steyn Kick To The Face

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Springbok Fans Left Reeling At Officiating Despite Convincing Win

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Bundee Aki Shown Red Following Ludicrous Challenge

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    The Latest Tuilagi Has Just Made His Top14 Debut And Is A MONSTER

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Harlequins fans furious at refereeing decision that gives Exeter the win

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Worcester name 41-year-old academy coach in tonight's premiership cup clash

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy refereeing decision leads to All Blacks win

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Speculation rife after apparent handshake snub in All Blacks coaching box

View All

Funnies

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    John Smit Shares Epic Bakkies Botha Story Highlighting Why Opponents Feared Him

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Heart-warming drop goal competition between Foster and Reece goes viral

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Streaker Tries To Distract Sharp Shooting Goal Kicker

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Throwback To The Wildest Conversion In Rugby History

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    "I'd Beat Him" Quade Cooper Speaks Out On Potential Jake Paul Fight

View All

Amateur

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Club House Antics Shows Rugby Spirit

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

View All

Player Features

  • 9 HOURS AGO

    England winger returns from injury to make premiership debut for Leicester

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Bundee Aki faces huge ban following sending off

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Joe Simmonds addresses lack of form in honest interview

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby great Eddie Butler sadly passes away

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Graham Rowntree reacts to missing out on 2003 world cup in fascinating video

View All