JAPAN BASE to Host Fourth Asia-Oceania Rugby Exchange Festival

The Japan Rugby Football Union is delighted to announce that the fourth addition of the Asia-Oceania Rugby Exchange Festival, will take place at JAPAN BASE on the weekend of 9 – 10 September 2023. Located 30 minutes’ drive north of central Fukuoka, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, JAPAN BASE is the JRFU’s elite national training facility. Opened in June of this year, in addition to hosting community rugby events such as the festival, it also serves as the training base for all Japanese national teams, across men’s and women’s fifteens and sevens, as well as Japan’s age-group sides.

First hosted in 2018, and again in 2019 and in January 2023, the latest addition of the tournament will see five girls and five boys teams play in a seven-a-side tournament on a modified half-size pitch. Teams from Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Thailand, along with local Japanese clubs from around Fukuoka will take part in the tournament. In addition to an action-packed weekend of Sevens rugby, the players and team staff will also take part in various inter-cultural activities aimed at increasing cultural awareness and building lifelong friendships in rugby.

Co-sponsored by the JRFU and Fukuoka Prefecture Rugby Exchange Promotion Project Committee, the festival was originally set up as a legacy initiative of Rugby World Cup 2019, as part of the tournament’s wider Impact Beyond legacy programme. Its continuation into 2023 is a fantastic reminder of the tremendous value the 2019 tournament brought to not only Japanese rugby, but to rugby in the wider region.

An exciting bonus for the players taking part in the tournament will be the opportunity to cheer on the Sakura Fifteen and the Fijiana who are set to play the first ever test match at JAPAN BASE on Sunday, 10 October as part of the Taiyo Seimei Japan Rugby Challenge Series 2023. Kicking off at 16:00 local Japan time, the match will take place following the closing ceremony of the Asia-Oceania Rugby Exchange Festival.

Tournament Details

Date: Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September 2023

Co-sponsored by the Japan Rugby Football Union and the Fukuoka Prefecture Rugby Exchange Promotion Project Executive Committee.
Supported by Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka Prefectural Board of Education and Fukuoka Sports Association.

Venue: JAPAN BASE No.2 Ground

Participating Teams

Girls – Thailand, Bangladesh, Kasuga Lilies, Fukuoka North, Fukuoka Ladies.
Boys – Bangladesh, Malaysia One, Malaysia Two, Ukiha Young Ruggers (Fukuoka) and Miyake Young Ruggers (Fukuoka)