Rugby World Cup 2019: What’s it like to play rugby in Japan?


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By Mike Henson
BBC Sport
For lots of the world’s best gamers, the Rugby World Cup are their first time playing in Japan.
It will be a return to an old fashioned ground.
Former Australia wing Nick Cummins is just one of clutch of superstars who’ve played in the nation’s domestic contest.
The self-styled’Honey Badger’ – that has played 15 days for Australia in addition to representing his state – earned money playing that was big in the town of Fukuoka between 2016 and 2014.
Since retirement, he has written books, starred in television – such as a stint in The Bachelor Australia – and also travelled the globe.
Who better to guide us throughout the athletic, social cultural and culinary challenges which wait on the huge trip of rugby east?
“In Japan, the gamers aren’t as large in the body, so the consequences were not too tough but they will elongate your legs off.
“It doesn’t matter how big you’re they will dive straight in your knees and shake one up.
“They’re really brave and strategy the game like warriors.
“And the standard is increasing all of the time. Just from my first year to my second year, was a major jump there.
“They’re quickly and then transfer the ball really quickly. Attempting to keep them up is quite demanding. Slow it down you must control the game and make it a much more game. This way, you have the wheel on them.
“The terms change loads throughout the calendar year also. In the summer it was hot, but then it also snowed.
“It’ll be humid and steamy at the World Cup, however for the Aussies at least it is going to be nothing worse than back home.”
“Flying over Fukuoka for the very first time [about moving to Japan at 2014], I thought,’Oh no what have I achieved?’
“I was coming over some kind of commercial real estate and believed that was the entire joint – although it was just a very small section.
“It was amazing. I had a great time there.
“Everybody is so pleasant, accommodating and welcoming.
“In the match, there have been lots of folks coming up to me for a chat and a photograph but out of the footy, there was not any of this.
“There were heaps fewer selfies if you were out in public which was good for me – without seeming like a jerk – I had a rest.
“Even in the event that you don’t know the terminology, and I just learned an extremely modest quantity of Japanese, it is still possible to work your way around.
“It was very much a sign language and body language sort of thing. Whenever you are desperate for a feed, they could view it from your eyes, they make it pretty quick.”
“The thing about Japan is that folks don’t muck around in the bar.
“By midnight they are done and cooked, and that’s great as you can bond with them fast smart.
“Whoever you’re salary guy, rugby player whatever, they like to have a few drinks together and see how you’re, because that reveals a whole lot of truth about you personally.
“They pour the beer into themselves – and then there is sake, which is like rocket fuel.
“One day in my way home, there was this bloke passed out to the side of the street.
“It had been snowing, he’d obviously had a monster nighttime.
“In this circumstance , you can wake up half-dead in the cold and that is going to ruin your entire day.
“I didn’t need him to undergo that. Since that is the type of folks the Japanese are so I drew him back into my own joint. I thought I would help out and do the ideal thing backagain.
“I feel this man was trying to impress the bosses and also did himself a mischief. But we’ve been there, so who am I to judge?”
“Geez, the Japanese know their tucker. It is amazing.
“You receive the older yakiniku – where you get a small barbie built into your table and you sit with a bunch a mates, so order in the fish and cook it right in front of you.
“Yakitori are such great chicken skewers, and they understand all about the Angus meat and all of that carry-on.
“You have to be careful though.
“We had a big team feed once. In Japan, they love to own about a thousand cups, plates and bowls at the table.
“Being among eight children, I had been used to jamming up to tucker onto the 1 plate and then just hurrying up and ingesting it.
“However there were a lot of unique things, I have confused.
“One of the bowls had this major flower thing – a hibiscus – plus I thought everything about the table was fair game and edible.
“So I’m chewing off on this thing along with the sap is draining my mouth and the Western fella who owned the place raced over shouting,’No! No! No!’
“I panicked, thinking I was about to die of a toxin, but it was good.”
“it is only a case of getting in there and experiencing the culture.
“I enjoyed watching the sumo and those big components going toe to toe.
“We blagged our way to the media seats and among these nearly pancaked us.
“They put up these huge wads of cash and whoever wins takes home the decoration and all of the loot, I guess half of this goes about the food bill!
“My team-mates additionally took me to those onsen, a Japanese spa bath, where all of the blokes are in one and most of the sheilas are in another.
“You walk and march around as you’re the king. It is a whole different experience, but definitely worth doing if you’re comfortable in your own skin.
“The Japanese are not big on tattoos though. There are a few criminal gangs who connect themselves with having tattoos and they turn away from whatever negative.
“So you know the tube traction? That skin-coloured, pinky thing in case you have an accident you use? The boys might put that them over or sometimes wear a shirt so that the public can’t see their tattoos”
“There are some quite strange fashion items happening around but I recommend getting right in one of it.
“Rather than looking at something and thinking it looks weird, get it, wear it and make weird together!
“They use lots of that Hello Kitty stuff with the tiny cat. Even the blokes in our team wore those Hello Kitty undies. They actually buy in to it.
“Moving food shopping was interesting. You can not browse the tote to know what’s in it, never mind the nutrient values are, therefore it is a case of going sense off.
“In case you’re purchasing some type of face wash or moisturiser, you’ve got to be careful, however, because they may have a bit of bleach in the slightest. You will lose your tan quite quick.”
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