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Japan Rugby

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby iul » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 10:40

Rich Freeman wrote:Average attendance at #TopLeague this season 6,470. Up nearly 2,000 from last year

Great stuff. May this continue. I am almost regretting Japan getting a team in SR now. If they'd implement some of the proposals from here, like letting in more foreigners in their teams and making the teams adopt their cities' identities that competition could grow into a really powerful one.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 10:49

There's plenty of foreigners in the squads already and also many teams have expat players who took Japanese nationality so are nominally Japanese but were born overseas. There's also one place for Non-Japanese Asians over and above the other foreigners. the problem is not the numbers in the squad but on the pitch at any time. the JRFU decreased after complaints but should have left it as - might have stopped the ridiculous way TL clubs are trying to circumvent the rule by naturalising some of their foreign players.

The change to clubs that reflect the localities. Yes, I've said it a million times as you know!

J League was this right from its start and now the new combined basketball league next season will be too. Japanese rugby blogger just suggested that in a recent blog I read yesterday. Said Panasonic doesn't have the same local support and reverence as J League teams in their locales. Actually suggested team names be based on the old feudal domain lord's family names as because of the huge number and popularity of TV dramas about the feudal age most people even little kids knew those names. Interesting and original idea!

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 10:51

That's a sizeable jump in crowd averages.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 10:55

Sizeable jump and would've been higher if the ranking games the last couple of weeks for regular season losing teams wasn't included. Most of them have been on the low side. Of course corporate teams so big ? over whether that's a permanent increase or the high water mark.

If the TL goes to two divs from next season we may see a higher average since the competiton would be a higher quality one without the many lop-sided scorelines. It'd be nice to see the JRFU taking heed of and implementing some of Eddie Jone's advice even if he's left the building. I suspect he doesn't even think there should be two national divisions but maybe it's the compromise which can at least get a better quality top league.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 10:57

Any word on the alleged reform of the Top League next year?

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 11:00

Not yet, just that a two division format is one of the ideas on the table. I know from a Sankei Sports article that I posted on here a few months ago they were finally considering proper H & A games for each team. This season I'm pretty sure was the first Yamaha at least played all it's home games in Shizuoka rather than one/some at Hanazono and and maybe one at some neutral venue in a non-TL team area.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 11:54

TL Final - Sounds like a classic - just about to watch it but Pana did the three-peat by the slimmest of margins 27-26. Francois Steyn missed a last play conversion. TL Final record crowd beating 2006 - 24557! Basically a sell-out. Hayden Parker...still Mr.Perfect! Not a single missed kicked in 28 straight attempts! interesting fact - there was a piece leading up to the TL final in the Japanese press aboout replacement Toshiba prop Yu Chinen a very big boy at 183cm and 125kg. According to the media story it's only his second year of rugby. up until he finished at juntendo Uni, he was a hammer thrower track and field athlete with national age group and uni titles and looking to represent japan in the Tokyo Olympics but has turned to rugby instead. also he is from Okinawa, very unusual amongst elite japanese players. not even sure an Okinawan bred player has even ever repped for Japan.

3rd place Yamaha got revenge v Kobe 26-22. SW player No10 Ryohei Yamanaka back for Kobe Steel from injury. Kizu was still out.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 12:11

YamahaKiwi wrote:Sizeable jump and would've been higher if the ranking games the last couple of weeks for regular season losing teams wasn't included. Most of them have been on the low side. Of course corporate teams so big ? over whether that's a permanent increase or the high water mark.

If the TL goes to two divs from next season we may see a higher average since the competiton would be a higher quality one without the many lop-sided scorelines. It'd be nice to see the KRFU taking heed of and implementing some of Eddie Jone's advice even if he's left the building. I suspect he doesn't even think there should be two national divisions but maybe it's the compromise which can at least get a better quality top league.


Two divisions with a h/a format delivering a higher quality TL would be a big move forward for Japanese Rugby.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 12:20

Working Class Rugger wrote:
YamahaKiwi wrote:Sizeable jump and would've been higher if the ranking games the last couple of weeks for regular season losing teams wasn't included. Most of them have been on the low side. Of course corporate teams so big ? over whether that's a permanent increase or the high water mark.

If the TL goes to two divs from next season we may see a higher average since the competiton would be a higher quality one without the many lop-sided scorelines. It'd be nice to see the KRFU taking heed of and implementing some of Eddie Jone's advice even if he's left the building. I suspect he doesn't even think there should be two national divisions but maybe it's the compromise which can at least get a better quality top league.


Two divisions with a h/a format delivering a higher quality TL would be a big move forward for Japanese Rugby.


Eddie Jones actually said there should just be an eight team Top League at the top level in Japan and I agree with him. I don't even think there there should be a 2nd division - personally i don't think it's sustainable because the attendances will be so low and still with a lot of travel so those teams should be in one of the three regional leagues but if it takes a compromise of offering a national 2nd division league to the weaker current TL teams to get an eight team Top League then I guess so be it. As long as that 2nd division doesn't drain japanese rugby of funding - i.e. the corporates invloved should pay for most of if not all of it.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 12:49

Maybe a second division could act along the lines of the NRC as more of a development / semi-pro league. 8 Team Top League - 14 home and away matches, 4-team finals.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 12:59

YamahaKiwi wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
YamahaKiwi wrote:Sizeable jump and would've been higher if the ranking games the last couple of weeks for regular season losing teams wasn't included. Most of them have been on the low side. Of course corporate teams so big ? over whether that's a permanent increase or the high water mark.

If the TL goes to two divs from next season we may see a higher average since the competiton would be a higher quality one without the many lop-sided scorelines. It'd be nice to see the KRFU taking heed of and implementing some of Eddie Jone's advice even if he's left the building. I suspect he doesn't even think there should be two national divisions but maybe it's the compromise which can at least get a better quality top league.


Two divisions with a h/a format delivering a higher quality TL would be a big move forward for Japanese Rugby.


Eddie Jones actually said there should just be an eight team Top League at the top level in Japan and I agree with him. I don't even think there there should be a 2nd division - personally i don't think it's sustainable because the attendances will be so low and still with a lot of travel so those teams should be in one of the three regional leagues but if it takes a compromise of offering a national 2nd division league to the weaker current TL teams to get an eight team Top League then I guess so be it. As long as that 2nd division doesn't drain japanese rugby of funding - i.e. the corporates invloved should pay for most of if not all of it.


I tend to agree. If they just went with a closed off 8 team Top League on a home and away schedule then I think we'd see the standard improve rather quickly. Well, assuming they can direct all the top talent into the structure. You'd know better than I but doesn't the corporate nature of the teams make this difficult?

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby iul » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 12:59

8 teams are not enough for a sustainable championship. You need something like 12-14, maybe more considering they wouldn't get extra games from an international championship like the Euro cups.
If they'd allow something like 8 foreigners on the pitch they could get a very competitive championship.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:06

iul wrote:8 teams are not enough for a sustainable championship. You need something like 12-14, maybe more considering they wouldn't get extra games from an international championship like the Euro cups.
If they'd allow something like 8 foreigners on the pitch they could get a very competitive championship.


Start with 8 and build it back up to 10-12. But instead of doing it purely for numberd you manage it carefully to ensure that the quality is there. Having 8 imports on the pitch at once may very well be a meams to boost the standard providing they are of high quality to begin with. But you also need to ask 'what's best for Japanese Rugby?'.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:07

Well you and Eddie will have to agree to disagree with each other. Personally I'm on Eddie's side on this one because there just isn't the depth (his main reason for reducing team numbers) and eight foreigners on the pitch at one time per team is IMHO overkill. That's more than half the team! Maybe 5 (1/3 of team on the pitch) no problem with a Non-Japanese Asian player but that's enough. I wouldn't be unhappy with a ten team TL but more than that is just diluting the quality and that's been evident in TL results right from the first year 2003.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:11

Working Class Rugger wrote:
iul wrote:8 teams are not enough for a sustainable championship. You need something like 12-14, maybe more considering they wouldn't get extra games from an international championship like the Euro cups.
If they'd allow something like 8 foreigners on the pitch they could get a very competitive championship.


Start with 8 and build it back up to 10-12. But instead of doing it purely for numberd you manage it carefully to ensure that the quality is there. Having 8 imports on the pitch at once may very well be a meams to boost the standard providing they are of high quality to begin with. But you also need to ask 'what's best for Japanese Rugby?'.


Exactly.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:14

Yeah, look, I think 8 teams helps solidify the top talent, with the second division being for younger and fringe players.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:16

Eight teams with 14 games (7H & 7A) regular season and then top four playoff and final = 14-16 weeks is a good length competiton. and seven home games is fine as far as sustainability is concerned. NFL has about the same amount of games and I don't see it struggling in the sustainability stakes! SR also started off with a similarly long season and same or even less home games.

Japanese baseball despite having far far more depth and strength and being far far more popular than rugby, has only ever had twelve teams max. Japanese football J League now has three divisions after starting with one in 1993 but to be honest the standard in J3 is absolute crap! I don't even know how they are sustaining it - players must be very low paid pros or even more like semi-pros! And this in a sport that has significantly more depth than rugby in Japan.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby iul » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:18

Oh I agree there isn't enough depth, hence my proposal to allow 8 foreigners on the pitch. My worry is the championship's financial viability. I don't think having to rely on companies continuing spending their money on a cock size contest is a very good idea and I'd like to see the clubs being able to stand on their own feet from a financial POV. To achieve that they're going to need more money making opportunities, a.k.a. more home games.

EDIT: The NFL is the most popular sport in its country. Also, Super Rugby has always been subsidized by their unions. They always made quite a bit of money out of their international game, which isn't something that's happening in Japan, at least not at the same scale.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 13:28

Great game of rugby to start off my Sunday, as usual I was supporting the underdog and they nearly scraped it. Starting to really get into the Top League, if it is managed well it could become as popular as some European leagues.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 21:50

Didn't realise but Pana prop Keita Inagaki had got 40 stitches after the Kobe Steel semi. Still played the final - Sponichi Sports headline (the story of Inagaki is also in Sankei Sports) says

パナソニック稲垣 40針縫っても出場志願「頭の右半分の感覚ない」
Panasonic's Inagaki plays even with 40 stitches "No feeling In the Right Side of My Head"

Image

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 24 Jan 2016, 22:14

BTW Thanks admin for amending the thread name. :thumbup:

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Tue, 09 Feb 2016, 10:02

I think it was reported on the SR expansion thread that Citizen had been named as a Sunwolves sponsor. I think that was incorrect (It came from a tweet by Japan Rugby Club who've made a whole heap of errors in their tweets) and actually Citizen have become a national team sponsor for both the mens and womens teams as shown on the JRFU's website. Goromaru also signed an endorsement deal with them recently. As far as I know they have no current or historical link to rugby, certainly not at the top level.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 09 Feb 2016, 13:03

They sponsor the Aviva Premiership, have done for about 2 years I think.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 01:58

Ok that's interesting. Should've specified Japanese rugby.

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Re: Japan Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 17 Feb 2016, 00:32

Well, this is surprising. Goromaru is now the highest paid player in the world. Might be joining Toulon next year too. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/ar ... d=11589987

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