Classic Wallabies X Classic Japan match in Musashino, Tokyo
As Rugby World Cup fever hit Japan, Tokyo’s Musashino city hosted a “World X Rugby” competition at the Musashino Athletic Field on 28 September. The event was a full day of rugby fun with Girls Rugby 7 exchange matches, a Classic Wallabies vs Classic Japan exhibition match, touch rugby clinics for kids with the Classic players, and a public viewing session of the Rugby World Cup ‘Japan vs Ireland’ game.
In 2018, the Classic Wallabies conducted rugby clinics with university and school students, supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation. The idea of a friendly match with the former Japan team was floated at this time. This led to the formation of the inaugural Classic Japan team led by Toshiyuki Hayashi, a former Japan captain who competed in the first Rugby World Cup.
Legendary and recent national players from both countries took the field on the day. The Classic Wallabies took on 73 keen Classic Japan players in two matches: Over 45 and Under 45. While the Classic Wallabies secured victory in both matches, both teams wowed the spectators with each play.
Following the match, kids participated in touch rugby sessions with classic players from both teams, making for an even more memorable day.
The day ended with a public viewing of the Japan vs Ireland match, where spectators enjoyed the exciting game along with the classic players. Over 5,500 spectators enjoyed the event, setting a new spectator record for the venue.