TOKYO (AP) — Three years into his second stint living in Japan, Peter Musgrave takes his young son to a park in central Tokyo and sees people throwing around a rugby ball. “It’s chalk and cheese to when I first lived here,” the 40-year-old Musgrave says. Back in those days, from 2006-12, the bank worker from England barely noticed rugby in the Japanese capital unless he “went out to a foreigner bar to watch a game.” The Brave Blossoms, as Japan’s national team is affectionately called, were conceding nearly 100 points in games against the sport’s major powers. The thought of an audience of around 55 million — representing close to half the population — watching on TV as Japan won a rugby match with breathtaking skill to power into the quarterfinals at a home Rugby World Cup would have been consigned to the realms of fantasy. Yet that’s what happened in this 2019 global showpiece, the first Rugby World Cup to be held in … [Read more...] about Japan excels as World Cup host, must ride the rugby wave
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Email By Offsiders columnist Richard Hinds Updated September 06, 2019 13:58:02 Video: Boomers beat Lithuania at FIBA World Cup (Pic: AP) (ABC News) Related Story: Boomers survive a scare to win World Cup opener against Canada Related Story: Boomers make history with first win over Team USA Related Story: 'Joke's on me': Russell Crowe hits out over $1,500 seats at Boomers-USA clash in Melbourne Related Story: Basketball promoter offers refunds over Boomers v Team USA advertising Map: China The title "Australia's Team" is somewhat fatuous.In a country with such fortuitously diverse sporting tastes, some defined by distinct regional affiliations, the crown has rested occasionally and even simultaneously with a number of teams wearing fashion-resistant green and gold tracksuits. Cricket's national appeal might mean the all-conquering women's team are now the national flag bearer or, as unlikely as it might have seemed just a few months ago, the men's version could again be … [Read more...] about The Boomers are set to assume the mantle of Australia’s Team with strong FIBA World Cup showing
The Tokyo Stadium crowd could feel the hairs on the back of their neck stand up after the two teams belted out their national anthems — but the niceties ended there. Stream the Rugby World Cup 2019 on KAYO SPORTS. Every match Live & On-Demand on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Get your 14 day free trial > The All Blacks assembled on their own side of halfway to perform the haka, but leader TJ Perenara could barely be heard as he began to scream out his team’s challenge to Ireland. As the All Blacks started walking towards the Irish team at the start of the Kapo o pango war cry, Ireland fans in the stadium began singing traditional folk song The Fields Of Athenry. RELATED: ‘Pitiful’ end to sad Wallabies era The song was sung so loud inside the stadium that All Blacks players appeared to lose their connection with Perenara, appearing out of synch at times. Players including Kieran Read were also spotted eyeing the Irish players for longer than … [Read more...] about Ireland fans’ response to haka at Rugby World Cup: Disrespectful or fair game?
The RFL chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, has said Wayne Bennett could be given a new contract to lead England into the 2021 World Cup despite Great Britain’s recent disastrous tour of the southern hemisphere. The 69-year-old Australian is out of contract after the Lions lost all four games against Tonga, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. When asked if Bennett could be retained as coach, Rimmer said: “Certainly he has a chance. We shouldn’t forget what Wayne has done up until this point. We’re all hurting, but until this point we have progressed really well. We’ll take until the end of the year and there will be some recommendations from the review, which will go to the RFL board in the new year.” Rimmer will lead the post-mortem into the tour, as well as determining whether Bennett will be given a new contract – but he insisted Kevin Sinfield’s future with the governing body is safe. The former Leeds and England captain is in charge of the … [Read more...] about Wayne Bennett could earn new England contract despite disastrous Lions tour
Tracey Neville and Ama Agbeze will join the Sky Sports team for the Vitality Roses' three-Test series of South Africa at the end of the month with all three matches being streamed on YouTube as well as being shown live on Sky Sports. The tour will mark England's first meetings with the SPAR Proteas since their duel for bronze at the Netball World Cup and is the first televised series for a new-look England under Neville's successor Jess Thirlby.With players choosing to take time off, including Jo Harten, Serena Guthrie and Geva Mentor, Thirlby's squad contains some fresher faces as she looks to expose a greater pool of players to the international arena at the start of this new four-year cycle. Haythornthwaite to lead Roses Natalie Haythornthwaite has been named as the Vitality Roses' captain for England's upcoming three-Test series against South Africa. … [Read more...] about Tracey Neville and Ama Agbeze join Sky Sports for England Roses’ series