The ticket ballot has opened!

So, the time has come… Time to step up and put my hat into the ring… It’s ballot time… …and I’ve put in for my England bundle tickets! Early this morning I sat down, logged onto the rugby world cup ticketing site  and took the decision to put my down in the ballot for all…

Ren and G are set to welcome me in Japan

Every major sporting event has to have a mascot, with football possibly being the most recognisable, however rugby is hitting back with the launch of Ren and G for the Rugby World Cup 2019. Even though I wasn’t born in 1966, I’m very familiar with the iconic World Cup Willie, the 12th man for the …

Everything is now geared towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Possibly my wife would agree with the title of this blog…as my current spare time is spent with constant planning, blogging and raising funds to make the 2019 Rugby World Cup trip. However a recent interview with England head coach Eddie Jones shows the Aussie is now gearing up the England team for 2019 and…

Focus on Saitama Prefecture, Kumagaya City

Adjoining Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture (along with Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures) is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, which represents the home of over a quarter of Japan’s entire population. As such, easy access allows many of the area’s residents to work, study and play in Tokyo on a daily basis…classic commuter belt. And because of…

Focus on Kamishi

Revisiting our “Focus on…” series of host cities, I decided to explore Kamaishi, which is an industrial city located on the Sanriku Coast of Iwate Prefecture, blessed with stunning natural surrounds and a fishing port. After the events of March 11, 2011, however, many associate Kamaishi with the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. Although devastated…

London to Japan by road…just 8400 miles

If plans go ahead, the Trans-Siberian railway could stretch over to Japan under a proposal from the Russian government. The two countries are reportedly having serious discussions to build a 28-mile bridge that would connect them for train travel. If the bridge is built, you’d be able to journey from Tokyo to London by train across 8,400 miles. Ideal for me…but sadly it won’t be ready for the…

Tahiti in the hunt for Rugby World Cup repechage place

Tahiti remain in the hunt for a place in the Rugby World Cup 2019 repechage tournament after upsetting the Cook Islands 13-9 to win the Oceania Rugby Cup 2017 in Rarotonga. They will face the Asia Rugby Championship 2018 champion in a home and away play-off with the winner progressing to the four-team global repechage…

Focus on Kobe

As part of my revue of the cities involved in hosting teams at the Rugby World Cup in 2019, I decided to look at Kobe, Japan’s sixth largest city.  The Port of Kobe opened in 1868 and adjacent to the port, a foreign settlement was established for the influx of people and cultures from around…

Sunwolves win against the Blues stuns bookies

The Blues’ 48-21 humiliation at the hands of the Sunwolves is officially the biggest Super Rugby upset this century.  I thought it was, and now the bookies have confirmed it! Data collected  in New Zealand has uncovered odds on every Super Rugby game since 2000, and the Blues’ humbling in Japan ranks as the most…

Time to try Tonkatsu

I intend to spend 4 weeks in Japan for my trip in 2019, which means I have to explore Japanese food more, otherwise I’m going to be very hungry when I arrive in Japan. I’m a fussy eater, so I’ve therefore challenged myself to make one Japanese dish each week, will not only expand my…

Japan set to play Romania, Ireland & Australia

Japan are set to have some challenging matches in 2017, which see’s Romania being their first opposition on June 10, followed by two tests with Ireland on June 17 and 24. As many would expect, Jamie Joseph, the Japan RFU manager, expects the Romanian match to be physical. “None of the coaching staff and many of…

Emerging players – one’s to watch in Japan!

Just like England, Japan has some real talent emerging in the younger ranks. Come 2019, Japan will have some youthful talent, mixed with experience wearing the hooped Cherry Blossom jersey. Watch Atsushi Tanabe, Backs and Skills Coach, take you through some of the emerging talent Japan will be showcasing in Japan. Click on the image…

Top tips for travelling on the Trans Siberian Railway

Over the Christmas period I’m starting to plan my trip and come across some helpful tips from fellow travellers. Here’s the top tips I’ve learnt which might help you plan… 7 Days on the trip with no showers…. The constant comment is make sure you take baby wipes to keep fresh and clean. Even first…