MoU Signed Between Japan Rugby and Rugby Australia

The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) is delighted to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rugby Australia (RA). The agreement will see the JRFU and RA deepen their cooperation around growing rugby in both countries, along with the wider Asia Pacific region, and will place an emphasis on the mutual development of high-performance programmes.

In addition, the two unions will explore strategic and commercial opportunities for collaboration, including the hosting of regular matches between their national men’s and women’s sides, as well as matches between top club teams from both countries.

Between 2024 and 2029, the Brave Blossoms, Japan XV and the Sakura Fifteens will play a series of fixtures in Japan against the Wallabies, Australia A and Wallaroos. Both unions will also look at regular opportunities for Australian Super Rugby teams to play League One sides. In addition, Japanese teams and players will interact more closely with Australian Super W teams, to further strengthen existing ties in women’s rugby.

Women’s rugby will form a key part of the ongoing partnership, with both unions working together to develop the women’s game within the wider region. The JRFU and RA will focus on creating more opportunities for rugby exchanges at age-group levels and for regional representative teams in both Fifteens and Sevens, to grow player pathways and promote high-level talent development.

Rugby Australia CEO, Phil Waugh said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our two great nations to strengthen the ties that we already share – not only in Rugby, but across trade, tourism and diplomacy. We have seen tremendous growth in Japanese Rugby in recent years, and it is an exciting time for us to be more actively working within the region on growing the game in Australia and Japan. In years to come, we will see more Australian sides playing Japan at home and away, from junior pathways to Test level across both the men’s and women’s game, as well as having our Super Rugby sides playing more games against Japan Rugby League One sides.”

JRFU Chairman, Kensuke Iwabuchi said:

“Japan Rugby and Rugby Australia have enjoyed a long and friendly relationship while developing rugby in the Asia Pacific region and we are honoured to be strengthening our partnership now, and for the future. We hope to further accelerate the growth of Japanese Rugby through our close association with Australian Rugby, which has one of the world’s most popular national teams in the Wallabies, and is constantly innovating in the business of sport.”