Japan Talent Squad Set to Unearth Next Generation of Brave Blossoms

The Japan Rugby Football Union recently held the first training day of a new programme aimed at identifying and developing potential future national team players from within the ranks of Japan’s university rugby competition. The Japan Talent Squad programme brings together players who demonstrate the physical, mental, and attitudinal characteristics suited to Brave Blossoms Head Coach, Eddie Jones’ vision of super-fast rugby.

The first meeting of the Japan Talent Squad took place on Thursday, 25 April at Meiji University in Tokyo with 14 players selected as the programme’s core player group. The players came from four of Japan’s top university teams, with four members drawn from Teikyo, Meiji and Kyoto Sangyo universities, and two from Waseda University.

Commenting after the first day of training, Brave Blossoms Head Coach, Eddie Jones said: “We’re looking to develop young talent with an eye towards the 2027 and 2031 World Cups. We need an elite group of players to evolve to become the best players in the world, not the best players in Japan. We need to practice for that specific goal in mind and it starts with identifying players at university level and those coming into university rugby. Today was an important day for the future of Japanese rugby as well as being our first day of preparation for the 2027 World Cup.”

The programme will operate primarily outside of the university rugby season. It will focus on providing regular skills sessions with Japan National Team coaches, including Head Coach Eddie Jones. Strength and conditioning will also play a key role, along with nutritional guidance and advice from coaching staff within the Japan national team setup.

Japan Talent Squad Player List:

Name Club Team High School Height cm Weight kg DOB
青木 恵斗
Keito AOKI
帝京大学 Teikyo Univ. 桐蔭学園高校 Toin Gakuen HS. 187 100 2002/6/14
秋濱 悠太
明治大学 Meiji Univ. 桐蔭学園高校 Toin Gakuen HS. 174 85 2002/5/16
石橋 チューカ
京都産業大学 Kyoto Sangyo Univ. 報徳学園高校 Hotoku Gakuen HS. 190 95 2004/4/10
伊藤 龍之介
Ryunosuke ITO
明治大学 Meiji Univ. 國學院大學栃木高校 Kokugakuin Univ. Tochigi HS. 170 76 2004/11/20
海老澤 琥珀
明治大学 Meiji Univ. 報徳学園高等学校 Hotoku Univ. 173 79 2004/10/27
小村 真也
帝京大学 Teikyo Univ. ハミルトンボーイズ高校 Hamilton Boys High School[NZ] 179 80 2002/5/28
佐藤 健次
Kenji SATO
早稲田大学 Waseda Univ. 桐蔭学園高校 Toin Gakuen HS. 177 108 2003/1/4
髙木 城治
京都産業大学 Kyoto Sangyo Univ. 東福岡高校 Higashi Fukuoka HS. 168 70 2004/9/11
田島 貫太郎
Kantaro TAJIMA
明治大学 Meiji Univ. 東福岡高校 Higashifukuoka HS. 195 98 2003/2/26
土永 旭
Asahi DOEI
京都産業大学 Kyoto Sangyo Univ. 光泉カトリック高校 Kousen HS. 170 73 2003/1/9
八田 優太
京都産業大学 Kyoto Sangyo Univ. 城東高校 Joto HS. 185 112 2004/4/5
福田 大和
帝京大学 Teikyo Univ. 中部大学春日丘高校. Chubu Univ. Haruhigaoka HS. 188 99 2005/6/16
本橋 尭也
帝京大学 Teikyo Univ. 京都成章高等学校 Kyoto Seisho HS. 182 86 2004/5/19
矢崎 由高
Yoshitaka YAZAKI
早稲田大学 Waseda Univ. 桐蔭学園高校 Toin Gakuen HS. 180 85 2004/5/12