Japan’s Rugby Team in the Battle of the Rugby Bands: Off Duty: “Sake and Ukulele” – Leach’s “ability to soothe” wins hearts with his “Okute experience” with Horie | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Japan’s Rugby Team in the Battle of the Rugby Bands: Off Duty: “Sake and Ukulele” – Leach’s “ability to soothe” wins hearts with his “Okute experience” with Horie

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Leach Michael and Shota Horie, long-time supporters of the Japanese national team. The way to make the team feel at home is at ……

For the “Brave Blossoms” (brave cherry blossom warriors), who wear the cherry blossom emblem on their chests, the battle that they cannot afford to lose begins here.

On September 29 at 4:00 a.m. (Japan time), Japan (ranked 13th in the world) will meet Samoa (ranked 12th in the world) in the First Round League D.

Japan won their first game against Chile (ranked 22nd) 42-12, but conceded four tries and gave up a bonus point (BP) in their next game against England (ranked 6th) 12-34. The historic first victory was not to be. We can’t afford to lose to Samoa and Argentina (ranked 9th), who are ranked higher than us, if we are to advance to the last eight following the 2007 tournament,” said a sports journalist.

(Sports newspaper reporter) “We played Samoa on July 22 and lost 22-24,

We will be able to make up for the loss in the main event, considering that it was a test match held in parallel with the final training camp (July 3-August 3). Samoa’s second match was on the 23rd (Japan time) and Japan’s on the 18th, so I think they were able to prepare well.

At a pep rally on August 15, former tournament captain Leach Michael spoke of the importance of “on/off balance” in order to enhance the team’s strength in the limited time available,

He said, “We need time to drink together, karaoke, comedy, and hard work. If we can balance these four things, I think everyone will be in good shape.

He also said, “We need to have time to drink together, karaoke, comedy, and hard work.

Japan’s weapon is the world’s strongest ‘hard work,’ and I think this is an indication of the importance of ‘enhancing team harmony’ with sake, karaoke, and comedy in order to keep it up for 80 minutes,” said a reporter from a sports newspaper.

Looking around at the members of Japan’s national team, Kazuki Himeno, who is in his second World Cup, has been appointed as the new captain. Since more than half of the team is making its first appearance, it is even more important to build a team for “Our Team,” the slogan for this year’s tournament.

Until the announcement of the new captain in July, Ryudai, Atsushi Itate, and others served as captains of games, and the words ‘kizuna’ (bonds) and ‘bond’ (connections) were posted in the dormitories and training areas, rather than relying on Himeno alone.

However, behind the scenes, the dedication of Shota Horie and Leach, who have participated in four consecutive World Cup tournaments, cannot be overlooked.

Shota, who has a food allergy, is not allowed to drink beer, but he joins in the drinking harmony with a bottle of rum or tequila in his hand, which was tested OK. Fakatava from Tonga, who scored two tries in the first game, sometimes sings Go Nagabuchi’s “Cheers” as his 18th song, but even without karaoke, he gets into the mood with Shota-san’s ukulele” (sports writer).

Even though Leach usually speaks quickly and in a low voice, he actively communicates with the new members when they are called to represent the group. And he has a “unique topic of conversation. ……

In January ’20, I gave a lecture in front of about 1,800 people at my alma mater, Tokai University’s Shonan Campus. When I was asked to give a message to the students, I suddenly said, ‘I was a virgin until my senior year of college. The audience applauded and laughed out loud.

He continued, “I met my wife in my third year of college, but I was shy, so I finally confessed to her after six months. We have been together since then and married for eight years. I think he probably wanted to convey the importance of keeping strong feelings, but it was too abrupt for the students. However, this bold confession was a phrase I often used to introduce myself to new members when I was the captain of the national team. The younger students would tease him, saying, ‘You were so shy, weren’t you?

Like a hard tackle, Leach has captured the hearts of the nervous new members and won’t let them go. The “cohesiveness” that Japan boasts to the world may be the result of the “relaxing” methods used off the field.

  • PHOTO Yohei Nagata/Afro Sports

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