Japan’s Rugby Team Arrives in France ahead of World Cup

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kazuki Himeno, left, captain of the national rugby team, and coach Jamie Joseph attend a Saturday press conference in Toulouse, France.

TOULOUSE, France — Japan’s national team has arrived at its training base in Toulouse, France, ahead of the Rugby World Cup that kicks off on Friday.

“We’ve worked hard over the past four years to compete at this World Cup,” Brave Blossoms captain Kazuki Himeno said at a Saturday press conference after arriving in the European country. “Myself as well as everyone on the entire team are excited.”

Himeno referred to the splendid performance the men’s team has put on at the Basketball World Cup in Okinawa Prefecture, where on Saturday night it secured a ticket to next year’s Paris Olympics.

“We’re inspired by them,” he said. “We’ll work hard so that rugby’s national team can bring a sense of excitement and encouragement to all of Japan.”

The Brave Blossoms face off against Chile on Sunday in Toulouse in their first Cup match.