Old Boy Richard Henderson (1986) has been living in Japan since 2003. If Richard wasn’t already busy enough balancing his career in private banking with National Australia Bank’s Tokyo office and his young family (James, 8 and Anna, 6) then the feast of rugby descending on Japan over the next two years will definitely ensure that he is.
Ahead of the historic first ever rugby test match on Japanese soil between the Wallabies and the Cherry Blossoms, Richard attended a reception for the visiting Wallabies at the Australian Embassy. He was fortunate to meet Wallaby legend Mark Ella and also Michael Cheika and some of the players. Unfortunately, with the team having just arrived from Australia that day the Wallaby Old Boys (Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese and Liam Wright) weren’t able to attend the reception.
With the Rugby World Cup to be hosted by Japan in 2019, it is fair to say that the anticipation and excitement is gradually building there. However, if there was ever a need to intensify that anticipation and excitement two years out from that event, then this match was the perfect catalyst. The Wallabies comfortably won the match 63 – 30 at Yokohama International Stadium in front of a record Japan crowd for rugby of 43,000. The stadium will be the venue for the Rugby World Cup Final in 2019 and will host many of the big games of the tournament.
The Rugby World Cup match schedule has games being played all over Japan, giving fans the chance to attend games locally. The Wallabies will play their pool games in Oita (on the southern island of Kyushu), Sapporo in Hokkaido, Shizuoka and in Tokyo. In 2018, the All Blacks will visit to play Japan and there’s also talk about a Bledisloe Cup game. Needless to say, Richard is one of the millions set to enjoy a rugby feast in Japan over the next two years!