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rugby world cup 2019

Foreign-born players in Japan's team at World Cup put spotlight on eligibility rules

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Love diversity !!..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Rugby needs to go to the Olympic standard. No passport, no play.

Tonga, Fiji ,Samoa deserve to have their best players playing for them.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Foreign “born” does’t really get to the point. For example, Scotland and Wales have many foreign born players.... Those born in England to Scottish or Welsh parents. There is a huge difference between players with parentage and cultural ties to a country and those who came with a professional rugby contract. (Rugby mercenaries)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why are details, such as Leitch acquired Japanese citizenship in 2013, and Kotaro Matsushima has a Japanese mother, left out of this article?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why are details, such as Leitch acquired Japanese citizenship in 2013, and Kotaro Matsushima has a Japanese mother, left out of this article?

Because that isn't what the article is talking about, it is talking about eligibility. Naturalizing or being born mixed raced doesn't factor in here or the issue. The eligibility rules has greatly benefited Japanese rugby and other nations too. People can label such players as "mercenaries", but a lot of the time players who cannot make it into their own national team opt for the eligibility rule so that they can play on the global stage. Also, one thing to take away is that once a player has switched to represent another nation they can't switch again. It is a one-time deal.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Rugby is paving the way for other sports in Japan go become more international. Fantastic!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Rocket panda,

“Because that isn't what the article is talking about, it is talking about eligibility.”

But aren’t those factors involved in the eligibility? As the article “A regulation by World Rugby states that a player can represent a country by meeting one of four requirements -- being born in the country, having one parent or grandparent born in the country, cumulative residency in the country for 10 years or living in the country for three straight years before playing.”

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Rugby is paving the way for other sports in Japan go become more international. Fantastic!

Explain why that would be desirable in the context of World Cup events.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They need to scrap the residency rule all together or we will end up with a team of NZ born Tongans in red vs 15 NZ born Tongans in blue. Meanwhile, Tonga gets eliminated at the 1st stage.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Educator60Today  09:07 am JST

Why are details, such as Leitch acquired Japanese citizenship in 2013, and Kotaro Matsushima has a Japanese mother, left out of this article?

It is just a poorly written article and skipping on certain facts to prove a point. Matsushima has a Japanese mother, which makes him just as Japanese as south African. But the article wanted to emphasize that the hat trick against russia was from "foreign born player," thus the importance and significance of them on the team. The article should be focusing on players that are "foreign born" and also not ethnically Japanese.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

According to Wiki, not only does Matsushima have a Japanese mother, he has held Japanese citizenship since the age of five. Leitch I already knew had earned Japanese citizenship many years ago after living in Japan from an early age. Haven’t researched any of the details of the other players but just knowing about these two is enough to make one wonder what is behind this article.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why is it a problem for Japan to use multiple ethnicities, when other multicultural countries do it without comment?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A quick look at wiki indicates these current members have also acquired Japanese citizenship (which would indicate they also met the rugby residency requirements): Asaeli Ai Valu, Koo Ji-won, Uwe Helu, Luke Thompson , Timothy Lafaele, and Lomano Lemeki. Even if the residency rules were scrapped I would think they would be eligible on the basis of their citizenship?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The only people putting the 'spotlight' on this are Kyodo and JT. Everyone else enjoyed watching the win on Friday.

This article is just the usual click bait. Walk around any large city in Japan today and you will see hundreds of foreign tourists enjoying themselves in Japan.

This national rugby team is a glimpse of the future for Japan. The UK (and the US, Germany, Netherlands etc) have had multi-cultural sporting success for decades.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So Japanese rugby leading the way on diversity.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Weird article. Most of the other teams are full of foreign born players. Why single out Japan?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

So basically there are only 4 countries playing at this year's World Cup. Tonga, Fiji, NZ and ???

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Boy next door ...and the UK.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@zichi not exactly true if said diversity is questioned only when they are not winning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why single out Japan?

Japanese blood is important to Japanese people in being Japanese, so it's an issue here. It's blood that makes you naturally able to hold chopsticks or read kanji. Anyone can be an Aussie, a Kiwi or a Brit if they display the necessary national attitude.

This is slightly tongue in cheek, but I feel there's some truth in the theory.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Diversity or the lack of isn’t the problem.

The problem is New Zealand! Or rather the over abundance of talent in NZ.

NZ gives a bunch of rugby scholarships to high schoolers from Tonga, Samoa and Fiji every year. Add these to the large number of “Islanders” already in NZ and you have a massive pool of talent. Almost the entire Tongan squad are NZ born!

Rugby is the only game in town in NZ but as its a small country the opportunities to play for the top club teams is very limited. Third stringers in NZ can easily get contracts for top European and Japanese teams. Three years later and they can pull on the national jersey.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At the rate this is going.....in 20 years time....every team will be made up of Fiji. Samoan or Tongan players

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Reminds me of some European teams in ping-pong - half of them originally come from China!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Pukey2..True, but the young rising star of Japanese ping pong has 2 Chinese parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Last night I just happened to switch the tv to NHK halfway through its opinion piece, which just happened to be in this very issue. The gist seemed to be that this diversity and internationalism embodies the spirit of rugby and should be welcomed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr Luddite came home from a business booze up last week and said that one client was complaining that many in the Japanese team didn't look Japanese so how can they play for Japan. I remember similar comments about the mixed race Japanese women who won the Miss Japan contest a few years back.

Let's hope the multicultural and multiracial sports men and women who are now prominent help change these outdated attitudes about what it means to be Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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