Rugby in Japan is growing in popularity every year. The sport has been played here for over 150 years, with the first recorded game taking place in Yokohama in 1866.
The national team is currently in or around the Top 10 in the world, and the country was gripped by Rugby fever during the 2015 World Cup when the Brave Blossoms put on a heroic display as they beat South Africa 34-32 in what some have called the biggest upset in Rugby Union History.
Things are also beginning to take off at club level. Rugby is fifth most popular team sport in Japan. There are currently over 125,000 registered rugby players in Japan and over 3,000 clubs. At the end of January 2017, the Suntory Sungoliaths beat Panasonic Wild Knights 15-10 in the final of the 54th All-Japan championship, completing a league and cup double in front of a packed house at the the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in central Tokyo.
In 2016 the Sunwolves, Japan’s team in SANZAAR’s Super Rugby competition, made their debut. Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet, is an avid supporter and fan club member! Regardless of the result, games have a fun family-friendly atmosphere and the range of merchandising in quite unbelievable!
If you are a Rugby Fan, catching a match while you are here will bring a different perspective on how the game is run around the world, and give a taste of the evolution of the sport ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019!