A month has passed since the TGRFC returned from their 4th consecutive Manila 10s tournament, and it was met with success both on and off the pitch. The line-up for the Gaijin was unusually strong, both in breadth and depth. A total of 15 players met in Manila representing a total of 7 countries (8 if you include Liverpool). Ex-TGRFC's regular hooker Crispian Short made a guest appearance from Australia, bringing with him a friend with whom he plays club rugby, John Condon. Team manager Joffa didn't need to talk Pete Harris, his younger brother into making his third flight out to the Philippines from Newcastle in the UK. And with Pete came Nick Rudd, a Scouser who was in the Singapore Barbarians 2006 Manila 10s Tournament Cup-winning squad – albeit briefly. Tour veterans from Japan include Alaister Nimmo, Joffa Harris and Toru Kanamori, which left room for plenty of fresh faces… Bati, Semi, Rob Poulton Erin Hughes, Will Thompson, Lonnie Childress, Hitoshi Chihara, and Matt Downer who was given the position of Tour Captain in the absence of Murray Clarke.
Sunday March 9 saw the TGRFC squad head to the National Japan Rugby team’s training quarters in Tatsumi for an anniversary game to celebrate 10 years of Deaf Rugby in Japan. Normally the Tatsumi ground is off limits to anyone for matches, but the Deaf Rugby crew had scored a win and gained access to the hard dry turf that made for a great running rugby spectacle.
Saturday March 8th, 2008, saw a small band of Gaijin head to Shibuya for the Shuto League closing ceremonies for the Close 2007 season (prolonged because of rained out games). There they were awarded the Shuto League Champions Cup and were privileged to have one their own named as Tournament MVP for 2007: APISAI BATI.. This comes on top of winning the Tokyo Gaijin`s MVP award for the 2007 season.
Apisai Bati, a Rishkul College product from Suva, Fiji, joined the Tokyo Gaijin club back in
A quick thanks to all who attended the AGM. Let's have it be known that Al has stepped down due to work commitments and he has done a great job over the past couple of years.
Going forward, as Captain of TGRFC for '08 I am going to be leading one of Tokyo's best teams in the game the play in heaven. Backed up ably by Vice-Captain Matthew Downer and a leadership group that can always be relied on, I am sure we have a great season ahead of us. More than sure.