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Thread: Top League well represented at World Cup

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Top League well represented at World Cup

    Japan's having another, shall we say, rough tournament but this is interesting...

    Rich Freeman / Daily Yomiuri Sportswriter

    When England opens its Rugby World Cup campaign against Argentina on Sept. 10, some non-Japanese observers may be puzzled by a name on the team sheet.

    For alongside the powerhouses of English rugby such as Leicester, Gloucester and Northampton, will be Ricoh Black Rams.

    While the official Web pages for the All Blacks and Springboks name their Japan-bound players alongside their current provincial teams, England back-row forward James Haskell is listed as a member of the Black Rams.

    The 26-year-old flanker is set to play for the Tokyo-based club after the World Cup--alongside All Blacks center Ma'a Nonu--and the Rugby Football Union Web page makes no secret of the fact, though strangely there is no mention in the bio of attack coach Brian Smith that he was a former head coach of the very same Black Rams.

    Nonu will be joined in Japan by fellow All Blacks Mils Muliaina (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) and Brad Thorn (Fukuoka Sanix Blues), ensuring that 11 of the 14 teams playing in the Top League next season have players at the Rugby World Cup.

    Yamaha Jubilo, NTT Communications Shining Arcs and NEC Green Rockets are the three exceptions, the latter only finding out at the last minute that Nili Latu wouldn't be allowed to play for Tonga.

    A number of second-division teams will also be represented.

    Japan's Alisi Tupuailei and Murray Williams fly the flag for Canon Eagles and Toyota Shokki Shuttles, respectively, Tonga includes Viliami Ma'afu (Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars) and Akita's Alaska Taufa, while Samoa captain Seilala Mapusua plays for Kubota Spears.

    Suntory Sungoliath finds itself represented in four squads. In addition to six players in the Japan set-up, Todd Clever (United States) and Tusi Pisi (Samoa) will be joined in Fuchu by the Springbok pair of Fourie du Preez and Danie Rossouw once the tournament is over.

    (Sep. 8, 2011)

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    Senior Player antiussentiment's Avatar
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    which Japanese rugby team is not owned by a major corporation?
    LOL..

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    cheers auss...
    fabricarti diem punc

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Which Japanese ANYTHING is not owned by a major corporation!

    It actually fits very well with my limited understanding of Japanese culture, great team players, very loyal to the firm, hard workers, who spend most of their life devoted to perfecting one business.

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    C'mon the

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Which is why the national team never goes anywhere - the foreign players get paid millions while the Japanese spend the day in the office.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    Haskell's doing a bit of globe-trotting. After playing for the Black Rams he'll be in Otago - he's been named in the Highlander's squad!

    Nice way to see the world, I suppose.

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Ma'a Nonu will be playing for them as well during the offseason - obviously have a bit of money up their sleeves.

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