Top League Round 12 Wrap Up

Japan Top league

  With three rounds to play in the Japan Rugby Top League, there is just 1 point between 1st and 2nd. And Japanese rugby fans get the perfect Xmas present with Yamaha Jubilo up against Suntory Suntory on Dec. 24 in a game that will almost certainly decide which team wins the league. Round 12 Results Toyota Shuttles 49 Honda 24 Suntory 37 Toyota Verblitz 24 Kubota 36 Coca-Cola 17 Canon 45 NEC 21 Yamaha 33 Kobe Steel 15 Toshiba 59 Kintetsu 12 NTT Comms 33 Sanix 7 Panasonic 45 … [Read more...]

Sunwolves Rising as One


The Sunwolves announced their squad for 2017 this week. RNJ guest writer Jay Collins gives a rundown of the players, while John Gunning from Inside Sport: Japan was there with his camera for us. Fumiaki Tanaka and Kotaro Mastushima join the Sunwolves this season in a new-look squad as they attempt to “Rise as one” to meet the tougher challenges of facing the formidable New Zealand sides in the next Super Rugby season. On paper this looks like a radically different Sunwolves team to the … [Read more...]

Kubota Spears with Alando Soakai

rugby japan

  Kubota Spears win against the Ricoh Rams last weekend, 21-18, signalled a growing optimism around the Funabashi-based club and helped maintain a little distance between them and the relegation zone. After suffering from relegation in 2011, the current set of players and coaches are hoping to improve on their mid-table position and start climbing up the table. We spoke with the former Highlanders player and current Kubota Spears Forwards Coach, Alando Soakai, about his team’s … [Read more...]

Big Names Debut in Week 11

rugby news japan

  Round 11 saw Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath keep on winning, David Pocock and Stephen Donald make their Top League debuts and Kenki Fukuoka equal a league record with six tries in a game. And just for good measure Fourie du Preez was back in town too. Week 11 Results Panasonic 69 Honda 14 Suntory 48 Coca-Cola 12 Kubota 21 Ricoh 18 Canon 17 Kintetsu 10 Yamaha 47 NEC 5 Kobe Steel 30 Toshiba 24 Sanix 15 Toyota Verblitz 14 Toyota Shuttles 33 NTT Comms … [Read more...]

Top League Action Resumes

Yamaha vs. Suntory on December 24th Could be the Match of the Season

  The Japan Rugby Top League resumed following its four-week break for the November tests. Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath remained unbeaten and on course for a title decider when they meet on Dec. 24. Yamaha 63 Toyota Shuttles 7 Suntory 29 NTT Comms 5 NEC 38 Kintetsu 31 Toyota Verblitz 25 Canon 21 Ricoh 34 Honda 10 Panasonic 34 Kubota 25. Kobe Steel 60 Sanix 21 Coca-Cola 22 Toshiba 17 The Top Challenge Series also got underway to determine which sides will be … [Read more...]

Toughening up Suntory and Japan with John Pryor

fighting guntai - 2 weeks intensive fight training

by Lee Watkins Arriving in Japan after an intense 4-day course coaching the Brisbane Broncos, the strength and conditioning coach, John Pryor, was shocked to discover the physical disparity between the Australians he had just left behind and the Japanese players, which now stood in front of him. “I’ll never forget my first day with Suntory. All the guys took their shirts off to go for a swim and my eyes popped out of my head! I couldn’t believe how scrawny and lacking in muscles they … [Read more...]

Top League Round 9 Wrap Up

rugby japan

  The Top League heads into the November break with 9 rounds played and Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath still unbeaten. In an action-packed weekend, Honda Heat picked up their first win of the season to move off the bottom. Round 9 Results Canon 35 Sanix 5 NTT Comms 34 Toshiba 29 Toyota Verblitz 20 Ricoh 16 Yamaha 50 Coca-Cola 11 NEC 38 Kobe Steel 24 Panasonic 60 Toyota Shokki 7 Suntory 38 Kubota 0 Honda 36 Kintetsu 20 Here are the … [Read more...]

Top League Round 7 Wrap Up

suntory vs. nec

Round 7 Results Suntory 33 NEC 14 Yamaha 47 Honda 25 Kubota 28 Sanix 27 Ricoh 31 Kintetsu 24 Toyota Shokki 27 Toshiba 22 NTT Comms 19 Toyota Verblitz 13 Panasonic 45 Coca-Cola 12 Kobe Steel 44 Canon 25 Here are the standings. Kyodo News was at Kashiwanoha and Kumagaya. Here are their reports. Meanwhile in Sri … [Read more...]

Top League Round 6 Wrap Up

Top League Round 6 Wrap Up

Yamaha remained in pole position in the Top League thanks to a big win over Kubota. For highlights of all other games played so far this season go to our video page. Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath stayed unbeaten while Toyota Industries Shuttles and Honda Heat remained without a victory to their name following Round 6 of the Top League. Round 6 Results Canon 31 Toyota Shokki 14 Toyota Verblitz 25 Kintetsu 19 Panasonic 51 NEC 26 Suntory 41 Sanix 8 Kobe Steel 45 Ricoh 39 Yamaha … [Read more...]

Cornish Pasties and the Waseda Whistle with Rich Freeman

YC&AC, rich freeman, eddie jones

  (The following is a summarised excerpt from the JRugby Podcast, Ep.5) By Lee Watkins “I just remember when Michael Leitch turned that penalty down, I was pulling my hair out, thinking, ‘Oh my God! You’ve just turned down the chance to draw with South Africa’. And then slowly you started thinking, ‘Hold on, this is possible...if they go left, this is on.’ When it happened - mayhem! There were guys in the press box next to me absolutely balling their eyes out,” says Rich … [Read more...]