Japanese lessons: Ruck ’n’ roll in the school of hard knocks


Japanese lessons: Ruck ’n’ roll in the school of hard knocks

To break into new markets or get ranked in the top 10 players, you have to do something different

Mark Barnes

England have just beaten the All Blacks to secure a place in the Rugby World Cup 2019 final. The British Bulldogs prevailed against all odds. There have been quite a few surprises in the tournament, but I think the current runs deeper than just a few upsets. The game is changing, and I think Japan is making it so. Who’d have thought?

Though the Japan Rugby Football Union was founded 93 years ago, and though there are about 3,600 clubs and 125,000 players in Japan, they’ve never before got through to the quarterfinals or been ranked in the top 10.

That all started changing four years ago when they shocked the rugby world by beating the Springboks 34-32 in Brighton. Thankfully we gave them a 41-7 lesson in a warm-up game and then defended against their inspiring new style to win 26-3 in the 2019 quarterfinals...

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