Saluting Five Japanese Players That Had Outstanding Rugby World Cups

Saluting Five Japanese Players That Had Outstanding Rugby World Cups

The host nation for the 2019 Rugby World Cup have been knocked out having lost 3-26 to the Springboks in the quarter-final. 


Japan were inspirational as they became the first Asian side to reach the knock out stages of the World Cup topping their pool, beating Tier 1 sides Scotland and Ireland on their way.

A number of players captured the imagination on the Japanese nation but we have narrowed down to just five players, and it was difficult.

Michael Leitch

The Japanese captain has been the face of Japanese rugby for some time but he took that to the next level during the World Cup.

He was superb in every single match for Japan and was a true leader throughout. 

Isileli Nakajima

Nakajima has moved around the pack a lot for Japan but seems to have settled down in the front row for Japan.

The blond haired prop was outstanding off the bench for Japan putting a number of huge carries, hefty hits and had stadiums and bars around the country screaming ISI!! everytime he got near the action.

Kazuki Himeno 

Amanaki Mafi was Jamie Jospehs' go to man in the 8 jumper for sometime with Himeno moving around the pack starring at lock and flank before Mafi picked up an injury in the Rugby World Cup warm ups.

However, Himeno stepped up a produced fantastic performance that caught the eye of spectators around the world.

Powerful carries, huge hits and some sublime work on the ground was all part of Himeno's World Cup.

Kenki Fukouka

Well known by the Japanese faithful before the World Cup, Kenki Fukouka caught the eye of the world wide public with stellar footwork and knack for spotting a gap.

Fukouka is set to retire at the age of 27 as he starts his career as a doctor.


Shota Horie

Shota Horie is far from the biggest hooker in the game but he fronted up against some of the best hookers in the game and didn't look out of place for a second.

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