Got to keep going…

This blog is a record of some of my passions in life. Rugby. Food. Travel. My family. However one thing that often creeps into all 4 elements of that list is my health. It’s been a tough few months, so I took some time off blogging to get my body and mind back in shape….

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…

The rugby world owe a debt to Samoa

Its been recently reported that Samoa rugby is bankrupt… What a sad state of affairs for the world of rugby to see this proud rugby nation struggling financially, when its offered so much to the rugby world. I’m from a generation that remember the impact (Western) Samoa had at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. They made…

Happy Christmas…

So, as I look back on 2017 and prepare for my Christmas lunch, I feel the year has been a vintage one with hint slight frustrations. You can never have a perfect year, but it wasn’t far off.  What was so vintage? Well, in 2017 I watched a England team put in some fantastic performances…

Time to put down a marker for 2019

Japan took great strides at the last World Cup in England, securing their first ever win over South Africa, 34-32, while winning three of their four matches, but narrowly missing out on progress to the knockout stages. Now Japan coach, Jamie Joseph feels improvements need to occur, if ranking points are dropped. Joseph recently stated “Since…

The inspiration that is Nigel Owens

To me Nigel Owens is the complete referee, the main man in charge of 30 players intent in ripping the shreds out of each other. It was only in the last few years did I realise that this quick witted genius of a referee was also a ground breaker. Owens has been an inspiration to…

England will need to step up

Did you see the Engand vs Argentina match? Inspired? Thrilling?  My heartbeat barely became elevated sadly as it became very evident in the opening 10 minutes that England had come to win by kicking points early and grind out a result. I’m not suggesting everytime England play then supporters should demand an epic performance, however…

My weakness and passion rolled up in one

Do you have a weakness? Shoes? Burgers? A nice watch? Well my vice is rugby balls…and I’m an addict. A massive, unforgiven addict who wishes his addiction will last a lifetime. When I visit a sports shop, the first thing I do is check out the rugby balls. From the design, the grip, the overall…

Match venues confirmed for the Japan Rugby World Cup 2019

I’ve been waiting a number of months to finally find out where my trip to Japan will take me …and the news has finally arrived. Today the organisers revealed the team venues and schedule, meaning I can finally start planning my homestay locations, which world cup matches to watch and start making contact with kidney…

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…

The Chase – Part II

Friday the 13th…a date that fills dread into the heart and souls of many people, including me. However Friday the 13th will forever take on another face to me, namely the day I was on a TV quiz show with officially the “worst contestant ever” (according to the press). As discussed in my previous blog,…

Japan set to take on Tonga

The Japan Rugby Football Union confirmed Wednesday that the Brave Blossoms will play Tonga on November 18th at Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse, France. The union also confirmed the game the following week against France will now be played at the U Arena in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris. What a cracking pair of matches…

Christian Lealiifano…an inspiration to all of us

Christian Lealiifano has just penned a five-month contract with Ulster after recovering from his battle with leukemia. Sir…I salute you. Coming back from such a hard hitting illness and recovering your fitness is something to not only admire but celebrate. Jonah Lomu made a similar heroic effort after his transplant and inspired a generation of…

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…

Seared Salmon With Wasabi Soy Dressing

So my culinary journey carries on…however it’s a tough ask. I would would call me myself as a “safe menu” eater, but I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone. The prospect of eating raw fish is a little off-putting, but I had a go at this seared salmon with wasabi soy dressing recipe,…

Podcast interview with JRugby just released

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lee Watkins from JRugby Podcasts, who heard about my trip to Japan via the Trans Siberian Express. From talking about the aims of the trip, what’s involved, how my health has affected my travel choices and what I intend to do in Japan…it’s all here. So,…

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…

Japan’s women team prepare for Ireland RWC 2017

Came across this superb interview with Japan’s women skills coach, Keiko Asami, providing a unique insight into the development of women’s rugby in Japan, how rugby is growing into a national sport and their intentions for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, set to be held in Ireland in just a few weeks. Click on…

Focus on Sapporo City

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about the various host cities for the Rugby World Cup 2019, exploring what they have to offer and what to see. This week I’m looking at Sapporo, which is the largest city in the northernmost main island of Hokkaido, with a population of 1.9 million. The city…

China aims to be global rugby superpower

It’s being reported that China is to host the richest ever rugby sevens tournament, with the top eight finishers from the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series to fight it out in the “Champion of Champions” in Shanghai in October.  The tournament, which is a similar concept to the eight-player ATP Finals in tennis, is part…

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…

Duck breast with umeboshi sauce and steamed bok choi

So this week, I’ve tried to make Duck breast with umeboshi sauce and steamed bok choi, thanks to a recipe I found with James Martin, featured in James Martin Home Comfort.  Looking at the recipe and ingredients I thought I could manage this, however due to my diabetes I might have to swap out a few…

The dangerous art of making Mochi

Ever tried Mochi…not me, but after  seeing this video today it’s certainly on the list. This video follows Mitsuo Nakatani, who have been making Mochi for 23 years in what can only be described as the fastest man in Japan! Mochi is a rice based treat that has to be pounded and folded by two…

Lions, Tonga and a house move…its been a busy few weeks

So, the British and Irish Lions have finally returned home with a draw..which I feel is certainly a win in many ways. Taking on the consecutive world champions New Zealand, the Lions came away in the 3rd test with a strong performance that ended with a lucky win…how Warburton convinced the ref to reverse the…

Lions need to answer the call from Crusaders

The countdown has begun for the Lions to show true grit and step up against Crusaders. After two indifferent matches, British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland is set to pick a lineup below test strength for Saturday’s match with the Crusaders at Christchurch. Gatland has been quoted in saying he would give all 41…