Japan national rugby union team

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"Japan national rugby team" redirects here. For the national rugby league team, see Japan national rugby league team.
Japan
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Cherry Blossoms/Brave Blossoms
Emblem Sakura
Union Japan Rugby Football Union
Head coach Jamie Joseph
Captain Michael Leitch
Most caps Hitoshi Ono (96)
Top scorer Ayumu Goromaru (708)
Top try scorer Daisuke Ohata (69)
Home stadium Chichibunomiya Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current 11 (as of 13 June 2016)
Highest 9 (2016)
Lowest 20 (2006)
First international
Japan 9–8 Canada
(31 January 1932)
Biggest win
Japan 155–3 Chinese Taipei
(1 July 2002)
Biggest defeat
Japan 17–145 New Zealand
(4 June 1995)
World Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1987)
Best result Pool stage, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015
Website www.jrfu.org

The Japan national rugby union team (often known as the Cherry Blossoms or more recently The Brave Blossoms) represent Japan in international rugby union competitions. Japan is traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia but has both enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which was founded in 1926. They compete annually in the Pacific Nations Cup and the Asian Rugby Championship. They have also participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament began in 1987.

Rugby was first played in Japan's treaty ports as early as 1866. Popular participation by local university teams was established in 1899 and Japan's first recorded international was a match against a Canadian team in 1932. Notable games for Japan include a victory over the Junior All Blacks in 1968, and a narrow 6–3 loss to England in 1971. Famous wins by Japan include a 28–24 victory over a Scotland XV in 1989 and a 23–8 victory over Wales in 2013. In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Japan drew 12–12 against Canada. In 2011, Japan displayed its progress by winning the 2011 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, played against Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Further progess was displayed in 2014 when Japan completed a string of ten consecutive test wins (a record for a tier 2 team) to rank in the world's top 10 teams.[1] This continued into 2015 where they produced arguably the biggest upset in rugby history in a Rugby World Cup pool match against the Springboks, winning 34–32.[2][3][4]

History[edit]

Main article: Rugby union in Japan
Rugby game in Yokohama, 1874

The first recorded instance of a team being established and rugby being played in Japan was in 1866 with the founding of the Yokohama Foot Ball Club. Games, mainly between service personnel, were played on the Garrison Parade Ground in Yamate, Yokohama.[5] In 1874 records also illustrate British sailors staging a game in Yokohama. Other games were played at other treaty ports such as Kobe between teams of long-term foreign residents and visiting ships' crews and garrisons, but they rarely involved indigenous Japanese. The date of local Japanese participation in the sport is most frequently cited as 1899, when students at Keio University were introduced to the game by Professor Edward Bramwell Clarke and Ginnosuke Tanaka both graduates of Cambridge University.

The formation of a national team and effectively Japan's first international match took place in Osaka on 31 January 1932 when a trade delegation from Canada to Japan suported an overseas tour by the Canada national rugby union team. The Japanese won this first match 9–8. In a second test match in Tokyo 11 days later again the Japanese side beat the Canadians 38-5.[6]

Japan beat the Junior All Blacks 23–19 in 1968 after losing the first four matches on a tour of New Zealand, but they won the last five. The Japanese (coached by Waseda University Professor Onishi Tetsunosuke) lost by just 3–6 to England in Tokyo on 29 September 1971 in the RFU's centenary year. The 1973 Japan rugby union tour of Wales, England and France was less successful with the side winning only two of their eleven matches, and losing the international matches against Wales and France. Ten years later Japan gave Wales a fright in losing by a slim five-point margin, 24–29, at Cardiff Arms Park on 2 October 1983.

On 28 May 1989, a strong Japan coached by Hiroaki Shukuzawa defeated an uncapped Scotland, missing nine British Lions on tour in Australia, for the first time at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, 28–24. The Japan team included such Kobe Steel stalwarts as centre Seiji Hirao (captain), and locks Atsushi Oyagi and Toshiyuki Hayashi (38 Japan caps and a member of Oxford University's all-time best XV). Sinali Latu at No. 8 was then a fourth year student at Daito Bunka University, and speedy Yoshihito Yoshida on the wing (no. 14) was a third year at Meiji University. Scotland missed an incredible seven penalties and refused the kicking tee which was generously offered – as a surviving video of the game shows. It was almost the same Japanese team which defeated Zimbabwe in RWC1991.

Under Shogo Mukai (2001–2003)[edit]

After Hirao resigned, Toshiba Brave Lupus coach Shogo Mukai was appointed in March 2001 to lead Japan up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup. After mixed fortunes in his first two years in charge, Japan put in some impressive performances at the tournament with good efforts against Scotland and France, nevertheless they still left the tournament having failed to reach their target of winning some matches but still won admirers for their exciting brand of play. Mukai left his post after the tournament to spend more time with his family.

Under Mitsutake Hagimoto (2004–2005)[edit]

After Shogo Mukai left after the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the JRFU initially tried to appoint Eddie Jones from his post with Australia but were unsuccessful and instead appointed Mitsutake Hagimoto in March 2004 after he won the inaugural Top League with the Kobelco Steelers. Under Hagimoto, Japan decided they would not select foreign born players after Mukai had been criticised for playing too many at the World Cup.

Hagimoto's first match in charge was a disappointing draw with Korea, but his first few matches in charge after that were promising with wins over Russia and Canada to win the Super Powers Cup and pushed Italy close losing 32–19.

However, in November 2004, Japan went on a disastrous tour to Europe where they were embarrassingly thrashed 100–8 by Scotland and 98–0 by Wales and also were comfortably defeated by Romania. Japan's performances were described as "pathetic", and the squad was called "a joke" with some key players ignored or not given permission to travel.

This disastrous tour forced a rethink from Hagimoto and foreign born players were brought back into the side in 2005, but after losing twice to Ireland in June he was sacked and with just 5 wins from 15 matches was the least successful coach for Japan in the professional era.

Under Jean-Pierre Élissalde (2005–2006)[edit]

Japan play Tonga at Honjo stadium on 4 June 2006

After Hagimoto left his post at the end of June 2005, Jean-Pierre Élissalde who had been appointed backs coach three months earlier took full charge and became the first foreigner to be the head coach for Japan. His first match in charge was a 44–29 win over Spain in November 2005.

In 2006, despite a disappointing campaign in the inaugural Pacific Nations Cup in June where Japan lost all their matches, and also lost to heavily to Italy 52–6, Élissalde was backed to lead the side to the 2007 Rugby World Cup. But Élissalde was later sacked in September after he took on a job with Bayonne without consulting the JRFU and then refused to give up his job with them.[7] Assistant coach Osamu Ota took over as caretaker coach for two Rugby World Cup qualifiers in November 2006.

Under John Kirwan (2007–2011)[edit]

Japan plays Australia A on 8 June 2008

John Kirwan was appointed head coach on in October 2006 after Elissalde was sacked. He initially worked as an advisor to caretaker coach Osamu Ota before taking over the job completely in 2007.

After starting with large wins over the Asian opposition, Japan only won one of their remaining 10 fixtures in 2007, although in the 2007 Rugby World Cup they did gain a draw with a last minute touchline conversion from Shotaro Onishi against Canada to end a long losing streak of World Cup matches stretching back to 1991.

Results began to pick up after the 2007 World Cup and Kirwan led Japan up to a high of 13th in the IRB Rankings and to win their first ever Pacific Nations Cup title in 2011 after they beat Fiji away for the first ever time in Japan's history.

However, despite more positive results in between World Cups, Japan had a disappointing 2011 Rugby World Cup, losing 31–18 to Tonga who they had beaten four consecutive times in a row since 2008, and drawing again to Canada who they had beaten 46–8 and 27–6 in 2009, and Japan left the World Cup winless meaning they still hadn't won a match at the tournament since 1991. Kirwan came under pressure after the tournament and he resigned from his post after his contract came to the end at the end of the year.

The tenure of Kirwan as coach was notable for a large amount of imports he selected. Players who originated from New Zealand such as James Arlidge, Bryce Robins, Shaun Webb, Ryan Nicholas, Luke Thompson or Tonga such as Alisi Tupuailei and Sione Vatuvei all featured prominently under Kirwan. The large percentage of foreigners in the national team also caused criticism for Kirwan. However, despite failing to bring Japan a World Cup win, Kirwan left his post as the most successful Japan coach of the professional era with a win rate of 58.18% from 55 matches.

Under Eddie Jones (2012–2015)[edit]

Kirwan chose not to renew his contract as head coach when it expired at the end of 2011, and the Japan Rugby Football Union announced that former Australia coach, Eddie Jones, would be his successor.[8] Jones stated that his intention was to take the Japanese national team into the top 10 on the international rankings, and that they must develop a style of play to allow them to win games against teams such as Scotland and Wales.

Jones made his debut as Japan head coach against Kazakhstan. He had selected a total of 10 uncapped players out of the 22 selected players. They went on to win the match 87–0. They then had a big win over United Arab Emirates where young 18-year-old Yoshikazu Fujita set a new Asian Five Nations record for the most tries in a single match with a total of 6. This was also Fujita's international debut.[9]

In 2013, Jones led Japan to their sixth consecutive championship win in the Asian Five Nations, where Japan achieved a tournament record score of 121–0 against the Philippines. In May, the nation lost their opening match of the 2013 IRB Pacific Nations Cup to Tonga, followed by a defeat to Fiji in the second round. Following these matches, Japan faced a 2-test series against Wales. Japan lost narrowly, 18–22, in the first test, but won the second test 23–8, and the series ended in a 1–1 draw. This was the first time that Japan had recorded a victory over the Welsh.

On 16 October 2013, Jones was hospitalised after having a suspected stroke and was released from hospital 2 days later on 18 October 2013.[10][11] With the announcement of his release from hospital, it was announced that Jones would miss Japan's 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests against New Zealand, Scotland, Gloucester, Russia and Spain, and former Australia skills coach and current technical adviser for Japan Scott Wisemantel would interim coach Japan for their 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests.[12]

On 19 September 2015, Japan stunned South Africa 34–32 in their opening group pool game at the Rugby World Cup in Brighton, England. BBC reported the win as "arguably the biggest upset in rugby union history".[13] In 2015, Japan became the first team in world cup history to win three pool games but still be eliminated at the group stage, due to their heavy loss to Scotland.[14]

Tournament history[edit]

Rugby World Cup[edit]

Japan has participated in the Rugby World Cup since its inception in 1987, and has made appearances in all tournaments thus far. Despite this, they experienced little success until the 2015 tournament, with just one victory over Zimbabwe in 1991, and two draws with Canada in 2007 and 2011. In 2015 they defeated South Africa with a score of 34–32, their first win since 1991 against Zimbabwe, which they followed up with victories over Samoa and USA in the same pool stage.

They will be the home team for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which is to be held in Japan.

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
AustraliaNew Zealand 1987 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 48 123 Automatically qualified
United KingdomRepublic of IrelandFrance 1991 Pool Stage 3 1 0 2 77 87 3 2 0 1 65 63
South Africa 1995 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 55 252 4 4 0 0 210 52
Wales 1999 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 36 140 3 3 0 0 221 25
Australia 2003 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 79 163 4 4 0 0 420 47
France 2007 Pool Stage 4 0 1 3 64 210 6 6 0 0 379 60
New Zealand 2011 Pool Stage 4 0 1 3 69 184 4 4 0 0 326 30
England 2015 Pool Stage 4 3 0 1 98 100 8 8 0 0 658 41
Japan 2019 To be determined Automatically qualified
Total 8/8 28 4 2 22 526 1259 32 31 0 1 2279 318

Asian Rugby Championship[edit]

Asian Rugby Championship record
Year Round P W D L PF PA
Japan 1969 Champions 4 4 0 0 191 35
Thailand 1970 Champions 3 3 0 0 111 39
Hong Kong 1972 Champions 4 4 0 0 167 4
Sri Lanka 1974 Champions 4 4 0 0 140 37
Japan 1976 Champions 4 4 0 0 194 21
Malaysia 1978 Champions 3 3 0 0 97 30
Taiwan 1980 Champions 4 4 0 0 265 21
Singapore 1982 Runner-up 4 3 0 1 112 30
Japan 1984 Champions 4 4 0 0 202 23
Thailand 1986 Runner-up 4 2 0 2 232 54
Hong Kong 1988 Runner-up 4 3 0 1 223 43
Sri Lanka 1990 Runner-up 4 3 0 1 200 34
Hong Kong 1992 Champions 3 3 0 0 225 12
Malaysia 1994 Champions 3 3 0 0 226 17
Taiwan 1996 Champions 2 2 0 0 242 22
Singapore 1998 Champions 3 3 0 0 221 25
Japan 2000 Champions 3 3 0 0 164 41
Thailand 2002 Runner-up 3 2 0 1 93 54
Hong Kong 2004 Champions 2 2 0 0 69 12
Hong Kong 2006–07 Champions 2 2 0 0 106 3
Hong KongJapanKazakhstanQatarSouth KoreaUnited Arab Emirates 2008 Champions 4 4 0 0 310 58
Hong KongJapanKazakhstanSingaporeSouth Korea 2009 Champions 4 4 0 0 271 40
BahrainHong KongJapanKazakhstanSouth KoreaUnited Arab Emirates 2010 Champions 4 4 0 0 326 30
Hong KongJapanKazakhstanSri LankaUnited Arab Emirates 2011 Champions 4 4 0 0 307 35
Hong KongJapanKazakhstanSouth KoreaUnited Arab Emirates 2012 Champions 4 4 0 0 312 11
Hong KongJapanPhilippinesSouth KoreaUnited Arab Emirates 2013 Champions 4 4 0 0 316 8
Hong KongJapanPhilippinesSouth KoreaSri Lanka 2014 Champions 4 4 0 0 342 33
Hong KongJapanSouth Korea 2015 Champions 4 3 1 0 163 40
Total 23 titles 99 92 1 6 5827 812

Overall[edit]

Top 30 rankings as of 22 Aug 2016[15]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  New Zealand 96.30
2 Steady  England 89.49
3 Steady  South Africa 86.41
4 Steady  Australia 84.23
5 Steady  Wales 82.49
6 Steady  Ireland 81.67
7 Steady  France 80.75
8 Steady  Scotland 80.44
9 Steady  Argentina 80.12
10 Steady  Fiji 75.49
11 Steady  Georgia 75.23
12 Steady  Japan 74.95
13 Steady  Italy 72.23
14 Steady  Samoa 71.37
15 Steady  Tonga 69.47
16 Steady  Romania 68.74
17 Steady  United States 65.60
18 Steady  Canada 64.53
19 Steady  Uruguay 63.56
20 Steady  Namibia 62.78
21 Steady  Russia 61.91
22 Steady  Hong Kong 59.03
23 Steady  Spain 58.79
24 Steady  Kenya 58.08
25 Steady  Belgium 57.94
26 Steady  Germany 57.71
27 Steady  Ukraine 56.95
28 Steady  Chile 55.73
29 Steady  South Korea 54.85
30 Steady  Portugal 54.29
*Change from the previous week
Japan's Historical Rankings
Japan IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 1 November 2015[15]

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Japan national XV to 25 June 2016.[16]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Arabian Gulf 3 3 0 0 100.00% 256 20 +236
 Argentina 5 1 4 0 20.00% 139 205 −66
 Australia 4 0 4 0 0.00% 58 220 −162
 Australia A 4 0 4 0 0.00% 51 242 −191
Australia Australian Universities 6 2 4 0 33.33% 60 90 −30
Australia Emerging Wallabies 2 1 0 1 50.00% 41 39 +2
 Canada 25 15 8 2 60.00% 612 581 +31
Canada British Columbia Bears 6 2 2 2 33.33% 103 82 +21
 Chinese Taipei 4 4 0 0 100.00% 474 27 +447
 England 1 0 1 0 0.00% 7 60 −53
 England XV 5 0 5 0 0.00% 71 131 −60
England England Saxons 2 0 2 0 0.00% 30 92 −62
England England Students 1 0 1 0 0.00% 0 43 −43
England England Under-23's 2 0 2 0 0.00% 25 77 −52
England Cambridge University 4 1 3 0 25.00% 52 110 −58
England Oxford University 4 0 4 0 0% 28 130 −102
England Oxford and Cambridge 3 0 3 0 0.00% 30 113 −83
 Fiji 16 3 13 0 18.75% 287 429 −142
 France 3 0 3 0 0.00% 68 128 −60
 France XV 6 0 6 0 0.00% 31 272 −241
 Georgia 4 3 1 0 75.00% 94 74 +20
 Hong Kong 26 22 4 0 84.62% 1127 353 +774
 Ireland 5 0 5 0 0.00% 83 251 −168
 Ireland XV 2 0 2 0 0.00% 28 81 −53
Ireland Ireland Students 1 0 1 0 0.00% 12 24 −12
 Italy 6 1 5 0 16.67% 90 199 −109
 Kazakhstan 5 5 0 0 100.00% 418 23 +395
 South Korea 34 27 6 1 79.41% 1487 478 +1009
 Netherlands 1 0 1 0 0.00% 13 15 −2
 New Zealand 3 0 3 0 0.00% 30 282 −252
 New Zealand XV 2 0 2 0 0.00% 4 180 −176
New Zealand Junior All Blacks 8 1 7 0 12.50% 98 337 −239
 Māori 1 0 1 0 0.00% 22 65 −43
New Zealand New Zealand Universities 15 2 11 2 13.33% 221 417 −196
 Philippines 2 2 0 0 100.00% 220 10 +210
Australia Queensland Reds 1 0 1 0 0.00% 6 42 −36
 Romania 5 4 1 0 80.00% 119 98 +21
 Russia 5 4 1 0 80.00% 237 90 +147
 Samoa 15 4 11 0 26.67% 273 482 −209
 Scotland 7 0 7 0 0.00% 84 313 −229
 Scotland XV 4 1 3 0 25.00% 64 165 −101
 Singapore 1 1 0 0 100.00% 45 15 +30
 South Africa 1 1 0 0 100.00% 34 32 +2
 Spain 3 3 0 0 100.00% 114 43 +71
 Sri Lanka 3 3 0 0 100.00% 266 29 +237
 Thailand 1 1 0 0 100.00% 42 11 +31
 Tonga 16 7 9 0 43.75% 379 440 −61
 United Arab Emirates 3 3 0 0 100.00% 310 6 +304
 United States 23 9 13 1 39.13% 526 655 −129
 Uruguay 3 2 1 0 66.67% 88 32 +56
 Wales 9 1 8 0 11.11% 129 493 −364
 Wales XV 4 0 4 0 0.00% 56 229 −173
Wales Welsh Clubs 1 0 1 0 0.00% 9 63 −54
 Zimbabwe 1 1 0 0 100.00% 52 8 +44
Total 327 140 178 9 42.81% 9203 9126 +77

Tour[edit]


Wins against Tier 1 nations[edit]

Current squad[edit]

On 30 May, caretaker coach Mark Hammett named a 33-man squad for Japan's June tests against Canada and Scotland.[18]

On 1 June, Kyosuke Horie and Shokei Kin were added to the squad for the Canadian test on 11 June.[19]

Caps updated: 25 June 2016

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Horie, ShotaShota Horie Hooker (1986-01-21) 21 January 1986 (age 30) 44 Japan Sunwolves
Kizu, TakeshiTakeshi Kizu Hooker (1988-07-15) 15 July 1988 (age 28) 43 Japan Sunwolves
Mori, FutoshiFutoshi Mori Hooker (1988-04-25) 25 April 1988 (age 28) 2 Japan Sunwolves
Hatakeyama, KensukeKensuke Hatakeyama Prop (1985-08-02) 2 August 1985 (age 31) 75 England Newcastle Falcons
Inagaki, KeitaKeita Inagaki Prop (1990-06-02) 2 June 1990 (age 26) 13 Japan Sunwolves
Kakinaga, ShinnosukeShinnosuke Kakinaga Prop (1991-12-19) 19 December 1991 (age 24) 8 Japan Sunwolves
Mikami, MasatakaMasataka Mikami Prop (1988-06-04) 4 June 1988 (age 28) 33 Japan Sunwolves
Kotaki, NaohiroNaohiro Kotaki Lock (1992-06-13) 13 June 1992 (age 24) 7 Japan Toshiba Brave Lupus
Ono, HitoshiHitoshi Ono Lock (1978-05-06) 6 May 1978 (age 38) 98 Japan Sunwolves
Usami, KazuhikoKazuhiko Usami Lock (1992-03-17) 17 March 1992 (age 24) 9 Japan Sunwolves
Yatabe, KotaroKotaro Yatabe Lock (1986-07-29) 29 July 1986 (age 30) 6 Japan Panasonic Wild Knights
Ando, TaiyoTaiyo Ando Flanker (1987-08-22) 22 August 1987 (age 29) 2 Japan Sunwolves
Horie, KyosukeKyosuke Horie Flanker (1990-07-11) 11 July 1990 (age 26) 3 Japan Yamaha Júbilo
Hosoda, YoshiyaYoshiya Hosoda Flanker (1987-08-05) 5 August 1987 (age 29) 1 Japan Sunwolves
Kin, ShokeiShokei Kin Flanker (1991-10-03) 3 October 1991 (age 24) 6 Japan NTT Shining Arcs
Tui, HendrikHendrik Tui Flanker (1987-12-13) 13 December 1987 (age 28) 38 Australia Queensland Reds
Yamamoto, HirokiHiroki Yamamoto Flanker (1992-11-17) 17 November 1992 (age 23) 5 Japan Toshiba Brave Lupus
Holani, RyuRyu Holani Number 8 (1981-10-25) 25 October 1981 (age 34) 45 Japan Panasonic Wild Knights
Mafi, AmanakiAmanaki Mafi Number 8 (1990-01-11) 11 January 1990 (age 26) 9 Australia Melbourne Rebels
Shigeno, KaitoKaito Shigeno Scrum-half (1990-11-21) 21 November 1990 (age 25) 3 Japan Sunwolves
Tanaka, FumiakiFumiaki Tanaka Scrum-half (1985-01-03) 3 January 1985 (age 31) 54 New Zealand Highlanders
Uchida, KeisukeKeisuke Uchida Scrum-half (1992-02-22) 22 February 1992 (age 24) 18 Japan Sunwolves
Ono, KoseiKosei Ono Fly-half (1987-04-17) 17 April 1987 (age 29) 34 Japan Suntory Sungoliath
Tatekawa, HarumichiHarumichi Tatekawa Fly-half (1989-12-02) 2 December 1989 (age 26) 46 Japan Sunwolves
Bennetts, TimTim Bennetts Centre (1990-08-01) 1 August 1990 (age 26) 5 Japan Canon Eagles
Nakamura, RyotoRyoto Nakamura Centre (1991-06-03) 3 June 1991 (age 25) 8 Japan Suntory Sungoliath
Paea, MifiposetiMifiposeti Paea Centre (1987-07-06) 6 July 1987 (age 29) 3 Japan Sunwolves
Sa'u, MaleMale Sa'u Centre (1987-10-13) 13 October 1987 (age 28) 27 New Zealand Blues
Tamura, YuYu Tamura Centre (1989-01-09) 9 January 1989 (age 27) 38 Japan Sunwolves
Hesketh, KarneKarne Hesketh Wing (1985-08-01) 1 August 1985 (age 31) 14 Japan Munakata Sanix Blues
Kodama, KentaroKentaro Kodama Wing (1992-01-28) 28 January 1992 (age 24) 4 Japan Panasonic Wild Knights
Matsushima, KotaroKotaro Matsushima Wing (1993-02-26) 26 February 1993 (age 23) 18 Australia Melbourne Rebels
Sasakura, YasutakaYasutaka Sasakura Wing (1988-08-04) 4 August 1988 (age 28) 3 Japan Sunwolves
Matsuda, RikiyaRikiya Matsuda Fullback (1994-05-03) 3 May 1994 (age 22) 3 Japan Tokai University
Noguchi, RyujiRyuji Noguchi Fullback (1995-07-15) 15 July 1995 (age 21) 4 Japan Tokai University

Notable former players[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most matches[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw %
1. Hitoshi Ono Lock 2004– 96 76 20 65 13 0 0 0 60 33 3 64.06
2. Hirotoki Onozawa Wing 2001–2013 81 73 8 275 55 0 0 0 41 37 3 52.46
3. Yukio Motoki Centre 1991–2005 79 73 6 45 9 0 0 0 31 47 1 39.87
4. Kensuke Hatakeyama Prop 2008– 72 51 21 50 10 0 0 0 49 22 1 68.75
5. Takashi Kikutani Number 8 2005– 68 57 11 160 32 0 0 0 41 26 1 61.02
6. Takeomi Ito Number 8 1996–2005 63 40 23 30 6 0 0 0 26 36 1 42.06
7. Luke Thompson Lock 2007– 62 51 11 45 9 0 0 0 38 22 2 62.90
8. Daisuke Ohata Wing 1996–2006 58 55 3 345 69 0 0 0 27 30 1 47.41
9. Ayumu Goromaru Fullback 2005- 56 51 5 708 18 162 98 0 39 17 0 69.64
10. Fumiaki Tanaka Scrum-half 2008- 53 47 6 40 8 0 0 0 35 17 1 66.98

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[21]

Most tries[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Daisuke Ohata Wing 1996–2006 58 55 3 345 69 0 0 0
2. Hirotoki Onozawa Wing 2001–2013 81 73 8 275 55 0 0 0
3. Takashi Kikutani Number 8 2005– 68 57 11 160 32 0 0 0
4. Terunori Masuho Wing 1991–2001 47 46 1 147 29 1 1 0
5. Yoshikazu Fujita Wing 2012– 28 20 8 130 26 0 0 0
6. Ryu Holani Number 8 2008–2014 43 38 5 110 22 0 0 0
7. Alisi Tupuailei Centre 2009–2011 20 13 7 105 21 0 0 0
8. Toru Kurihara Wing 2000–2003 28 23 5 347 20 71 35 0
9. Tadayuki Ito Wing 1963–1974 19 18 1 63 19 0 0 0
Yoshihito Yoshida Wing 1988–1997 31 30 1 97 19 7 1 0

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[22]

Most points[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Ayumu Goromaru Fullback 2005– 56 51 5 708 18 162 98 0
2. Keiji Hirose Fly-half 1994–2005 40 34 6 422 5 77 79 2
3. Toru Kurihara Wing 2000–2003 28 23 5 347 20 71 35 0
4. Daisuke Ohata Wing 1996–2006 58 55 3 345 69 0 0 0
5. James Arlidge Fly-half 2007–2011 32 23 9 286 8 78 28 2
6. Hirotoki Onozawa Wing 2001–2013 81 73 8 275 55 0 0 0
7. Shaun Webb Fly-half 2008–2011 35 26 9 198 18 45 6 0
8. Ryan Nicholas Centre 2008–2012 38 37 1 193 9 53 14 0
9. Takashi Kikutani Number 8 2005–2014 68 57 11 160 32 0 0 0
10. Terunori Masuho Wing 1991–2001 47 46 1 147 29 1 1 0

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[23]

Most points in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Toru Kurihara Wing 60 6 15 0 0  Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Tainan 21/07/2002
2. Daisuke Ohata Wing 40 8 0 0 0  Chinese Taipei Japan Tokyo 21/07/2002
3. Ayumu Goromaru Fullback 37 1 16 0 0  Sri Lanka Japan Nagoya 10/05/2014
4. Ayumu Goromaru Fullback 36 1 14 1 0  Philippines Japan Fukuoka 20/04/2013
5. Toru Kurihara Wing 35 2 11 1 0  South Korea Japan Tokyo 16/06/2002
6. Keiji Hirose Fly-half 34 1 1 9 0  Tonga Japan Tokyo 08/05/1999
7. Ayumu Goromaru Fullback 32 2 11 0 0  Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Almaty 28/04/2012
8. Keiji Hirose Fly-half 31 0 11 3 0  Hong Kong Japan Tokyo 08/05/2005
9. 4 players on 30 points

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[24]

Most tries in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Daisuke Ohata Wing 40 8 0 0 0  Chinese Taipei Japan Tokyo 07/07/2002
2. Toru Kurihara Wing 60 6 15 0 0  Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Tainan 21/07/2002
Daisuke Ohata Wing 30 6 0 0 0  Hong Kong Japan Tokyo 08/05/2005
Yoshikazu Fujita Wing 30 6 0 0 0  United Arab Emirates Japan Fukuoka 05/05/2012
5. Terunori Masuho Wing 25 5 0 0 0  Chinese Taipei Singapore Singapore 27/10/1998
Kosuke Endo Wing 25 5 0 0 0  South Korea South Korea Daegu 01/05/2010
Alisi Tupuailei Centre 25 5 0 0 0  Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Colombo 21/05/2011
8. 10 players on 4 tries

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[25]

Most matches as captain[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Takuro Miuchi Number 8 2002–2008 45 17 27 1 38.88 30 6 0 0 0
2. Takashi Kikutani Number 8 2008–2013 34 21 12 1 63.23 110 22 0 0 0
3. Toshiaki Hirose Wing 2012–2013 18 13 5 0 72.22 45 9 0 0 0
Michael Leitch Lock 2014- 18 15 3 0 83.33 25 5 0 0 0
5. Masahiro Kunda Hooker 1993–1998 14 5 9 0 35.71 0 0 0 0 0
6. Yukio Motoki Centre 1996–1997 12 4 8 0 33.33 5 1 0 0 0
7. Seiji Hirao Centre 1989–1991 11 5 6 0 45.45 0 0 0 0 0
5. Toshiyuki Hayashi Lock 1986–1987 10 1 8 1 15.00 0 0 0 0 0
Andrew McCormick Centre 1998–1999 10 4 6 0 40.00 5 1 0 0 0
Akira Yokoi Centre 1970–1974 10 3 6 1 35.00 0 0 0 0 0

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[26]

Youngest players[edit]

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Yoshikazu Fujita Wing 18 years and 210 days  United Arab Emirates Japan Fukuoka 05/05/2012
2. Christian Loamanu Wing 18 years and 338 days  Uruguay Uruguay Montevideo 16/04/2005
3. Ayumu Goromaru (Fullback) 19 years and 46 days  Uruguay Uruguay Montevideo 16/04/2005
4. Terunori Masuho Wing 19 years and 95 days  United States United States Chicago 04/05/1991
5. Seiji Hirao Centre 19 years and 129 days New Zealand New Zealand Universities New Zealand Pukekohe 30/05/1982
6. Kenji Shomen (Fly-half) 19 years and 165 days  South Korea South Korea Ulsan 13/10/2002
7. Yoshihito Yoshida Wing 19 years and 226 days England Oxford University Japan Tokyo 01/10/1988
8. Yukio Motoki (Centre) 19 years and 243 days  United States United States Blaine 27/04/1991
9. Tsuyoshi Fujita Hooker 19 years and 251 days  Netherlands Netherlands Hilversum 04/10/1980
10. Kousuke Fujii (Lock) 19 years and 306 days  Samoa Samoa Apia 10/06/2000

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[27]

Oldest players[edit]

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Hitoshi Ono Lock 37 years and 150 days  Samoa England Milton Keynes 03/10/2015
2. Wataru Murata Scrum-half 37 years and 145 days  Ireland Japan Tokyo 19/06/2005
3. Ross Thompson Number 8 35 years and 341 days  Canada Canada Vancouver 21/06/1998
4. Craig Wing (Centre) 35 years and 289 days  United States England Gloucester 11/10/2015
5. Hirotoki Onozawa Wing 35 years and 71 days  Wales Japan Osaka 08/06/2013
6. Hayden Hopgood Lock 35 years and 30 days  Uruguay Japan Tokyo 29/08/2015
7. Glen Marsh Flanker 34 years and 316 days New Zealand Junior All Blacks Japan Tokyo 24/06/2007
8. Goshi Tachikawa Fullback 34 years and 219 days  Samoa Japan Tokyo 02/07/2011
9. Takashi Kikutani (Number 8) 34 years and 82 days  South Korea South Korea Incheon 17/05/2014
10. George Konia Centre 34 years and 79 days  United States Australia Gosford 27/10/2003

Last updated: Japan vs USA, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brave Blossoms break into top ten
  2. ^ "Japan pull off greatest shock in World Cup history". ESPN. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Rugby World Cup: Japan's Shocking Upset Commands Attention". New York Times. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Japan beat South Africa in greatest Rugby World Cup shock ever". Guardian. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Galbraith, Mike (15 March 2014). "1866 and all that: the untold early history of rugby in Japan". Japan Times. 
  6. ^ Young, Keith (2015). "Japan". Complete Rugby Union Compendium. Edinburgh: Arena Sport. ISBN 978-1-909715-34-9. 
  7. ^ "Elissalde sacked as Japan coach". 
  8. ^ "Eddie Jones appointed coach of Japan". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. December 26, 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  9. ^ JRFU (May 2, 2012). "Fujita in line for historic debut". 
  10. ^ "Eddie Jones hospitalised after Japan rugby coach suffers suspected stroke – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  11. ^ "Eddie Jones released from intensive care after stroke but will miss Japan's Test with All Blacks". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  12. ^ a b "Scott Wisemantel is interim coach for Japan". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2015: South Africa 32–34 Japan". 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2015-09-19. 
  14. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/34492412
  15. ^ a b "World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Team records". ESPN scrum. 
  17. ^ "Italy lose 26–23 to Japan in Tokyo" (in Italian). 
  18. ^ 日本代表 カナダ代表戦、「リポビタンDチャレンジカップ2016」スコットランド代表戦 メンバー
  19. ^ 日本代表 カナダ遠征メンバーおよびキャプテン、バイスキャプテン決定のお知らせ
  20. ^ a b "Hammett, Nakatake assigned interim coaching duties for Brave Blossoms". The Japan Times. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Most matches - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  22. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Most individual tries - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  23. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Most individual points - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  24. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Most individual points in a match - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  25. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Most individual tries in a match - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  26. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Most matches as a captain - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  27. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Youngest appearance - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 
  28. ^ "Rugby Union - Japan - Oldest appearance - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kei Nishikori
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize Winner
2015
Succeeded by
Incumbent