Odds and Ends
* Charles Joffre scored a hatrick in his farewell game for the Gaijin against his countrymen, All France, on the 19th June. The 'Friendly' game was played out at Yanokuchi Field. The All France team turned up with a miserable 6 players (hence the decision not to write a full article about the game). Luckily the Gaijin had plenty in reserve and were able to lend them enough to get a game going. Joffre also converted one of his tries to give him a 17 point haul for the game. Andy Ballard captained the team well and led from the front and Semi Leiene was a standout at fullback. Newcomer, Spanish prop Ismael, scored two tries on debut, Bati Apisai got one and Alex Glover also got a try to cap a purple patch of tries over the last couple of months for the young Englishman. The final score was 40-odd to 7 with Gaijin back Tristan O'Connor scoring for the All France side.
* In another 'Friendly' game a bunch of Gaijin players helped the Phoenix Old Boys team beat Penguins RFC in a game at Setagaya Field. While the Penguins were not an Old Boys team they probably had an average age over 30. The highlight of the match was seeing young Gaijin prop Natsu Kunitomo run 25 metres to score a try. While not noted for his pace he showed enough of it to get to the line untouched....even though he looked like he was running in slow motion. (Editor's note: I ate a whole hamburger while he was doing it).
* Gaijin prop Takeshi Koba became the proud father of a baby girl, named Akari, onthe 29th of June.
*Ladies take note..... Ikuo Fukuda is now single again. But be careful......he changes his girlfriends as often as he changes his underpants.
* Riki Pitter and Gen Yamazaki have been seen in Gaijin colours again after a year away from the game.
Comings and Goings
It has been a busy couple of months for the Gaijin with a few guys leaving and quite a few newcomers.
* Charles Joffre has headed back to France after 2 and half years in Japan to become a student again. We wish him all the best in his future studies.
* Ken Asakura, after only joining the team at the beginning of the year, has been transferred to California to be closer to other IT companies. He intends to pull on the Gaijin jersey whenever he is back in town.
* Young Alex Glover headed back to England on August 1st after completing his studies here in Japan. His youthful exuberance will be sorely missed by an aging forward pack. He has probably been the top tryscorer over the past few months.
* Spanish prop Ismael joined the team a month ago and as mentioned earlier scored twice on debut against All France.
* Flanker Takashi Tanikawa joined the team after being pointed in this direction by Gaijin old boy Takashi Mutou. Apparently they played rugby on the same team in the USA.
* The team also picked up a handy flanker in Sasaki who just happened to be cycling past training with his wife and kids.
* Adding to this recent influx of flankers, Kiwi Daniel Worden and American Bradley Rowe joined the ranks three months ago. Brad has been spotted at training but has yet to pull on the Gaijin colours due to a busy schedule.
* Three new players joined us at the Shuto 10's tournament. Halfback Takeshi Ono, a former team mate of Gaijin standoff Toshi Miyano, was the star performer at the 10's and the previous day against the Seoul Survivors. There is a rumour though that he will be heading off overseas in September. I guess it was good while it lasted. Welshman Tim Pelham also had his first game for the Gaijin and fills the same spot as countryman Dave Johnson who just recently left these shores. Welsh flanker for Welsh flanker. Also in attendance on the day was Yosuke, a trained physiopherapist. He has yet to don the Gaijin jersey, and maybe even a rugby jersey, but is looking forward to doing so soon.
* Hiro, a centre or winger, was recruited from the bars of Roppongi by Tristan O'Connor.
NOTE: That's 5 new flankers in 3 months. Looks like some of the older forwards might have to warm the bench.
* The All Blacks are going to choke at the World Cup.
* Chris Lucas thought about going to training.
* Joffa didn't yell at the referee last game. Just kidding!