This is the column where you find out what is happening with your team. Read on to find out about the comings and goings nto and from your team, the rumours and innuendo, with a few sprinkles of real news to top it off. This is the first Around the Traps since February 1st so there has been a lot of new players join the team and a lot has happened.
The final 'friendly' of the spring season before the summer break over August was played at the lovely Tatsumi National Training ground in Tatsumi. The Gaijin were up against Otowa Club, apparently the third ranked team in the Saitama League. It was the first time the two teams had ever clashed but the main aim was to give everybody a run before the summer break. With that in mind the game was set to be played in three 30 minute halves (or should that be thirds?) to give both teams chances to practise their combinations and to avoid dehydration in the heat and humidity.
In a further 'friendly' game before the upcoming summer break the Gaijin gathered at their usual training ground, the dry-as-a bone Yanokuchi Field out Chofu way, for a match against Dasewa RFC, who have just been promoted to the 1st Division of the Tokyo Cup. The Gaijin team kicked off featuring 5 new players and one on the bench. New starters were props Lachlan Ainley from Australia and Gorka Gerediaga from the Basque region of Spain, utility back Maxwell Manson from New Zealand, brothers Ebba and Eaman Kamuhanda from Uganda, and virgin rugby player Andrew Fennel from the USA.
With the Tokyo Cup over for 2012 the Tokyo Gaijin RFC organized a few 'friendlies' to get more game time for some of their fringe players and to give new guys a run out before the summer break over August. First cab off the rank was a young Sofia University side of which the team knew very little about. Like most University teams in Japan the TGRFC knew they would be well-drilled and fit and fast. The Gaijin squad was a mixture of experience and the raw. In a game littered with mistakes the Sofia University side didn't disappoint and saw the Gaijin fail to get on top of a much younger, fitter and faster University team.