Ask Rich


By Lee Watkins In our first episode of “Ask Rich” we talk to the Kyodo News journalist, Rich Freeman, about salaries, international eligibility and other peculiarities surrounding rugby in Japan. If you want to listen to the full “Ask Rich” episode, please listen to the JRugby Podcast on SoundCloud or i-Tunes. Q:  If a Japanese player plays all the games in the Top League, Super Rugby and international matches, how many weeks per year would the player get off? Rich: Probably about a … [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...]

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...]

Rugby, Surf and Goromaru with Keith Davies

rugby japan

  (The following is a summarised excerpt from the JRugby Podcast, Ep.4) By Lee Watkins and Taito Sakurai With over 30 years experience coaching corporate and university rugby in Japan, along with success at the Queensland Reds, and his involvement in the Heineken Cup, it may come as a surprise that Keith Davies is currently living out of a camper van somewhere in Kanagawa, Japan. “I’m living out the back of a Hi-Ace van at the moment. It’s got my surfboard, it’s got everything. … [Read more...]

Podcasts Covering Rugby in Japan

Jrugby Podcast

For those interested in learning more about Japanese rugby history, culture, teams, and players, we recommend checking out JRugby Podcast. Produced in English by Taito Sakurai and Lee Watkins, JRugby Podcast aims to give a historical and cultural context to rugby in Japan. The duo also interview active players and coaches and discuss current trends and issues affecting rugby in Japan. To date JRugby Podcast has released three episodes: Episode … [Read more...]