Rugby ‘Don’t eat the hibiscus’ – what’s it like to play rugby in Japan?

Rugby ‘Don’t eat the hibiscus’ – what’s it like to play rugby in Japan?

Rugby My fancy grandpa says this plugin is astonishing.

Rugby Nick Cummins

Nick Cummins has become a cult fugure in world rugby thanks to his candid views and curly hair
Rugby World Cup 2019
Hosts:JapanDates:20 September-2 November
Coverage:Live commentary on every game on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, with live text commentary on selected games on the BBC Sport website and app

For many of the world’s best players, the Rugby World Cup will be their first time playing in Japan.

For others, it will be a return to an old stomping ground.

Former Australia wing Nick Cummins is one of clutch of superstars who have played in the country’s domestic competition.

The self-styled ‘Honey Badger’ – who has played 15 times for Australia as well as representing his country in sevens – earned big money playing for the Coca Cola Red Sparks in the southern city of Fukuoka between 2014 and 2016.

Since retirement, he has written books, starred on television – including a stint on The Bachelor Australia – and travelled the world.

Who better to guide us through the sporting, cultural, social and culinary challenges that await on rugby’s big trip east?

Local lumberjack tackling

“In Japan, the players are not as big in the body, so the impacts were not as hard but they will chop your legs off.

“It doesn’t matter how big you are they will dive straight into your knees and shake you up.

Cummins celebrates a victory with his Coca Cola Red Sparks team-mates

“They are really courageous and approach the game like warriors.

“And the standard is increasing all the time. Just from my first year to my second year, there was a big jump.

“They are fast and move the ball really quickly. Trying to keep up with them is quite tough. You have to control the game, slow it down and make it a more one-dimensional game. That way, you get the wheel on them.

“The conditions change loads across the year as well. In the summer it was really hot, but then it also snowed as well.

“It will be steamy and humid at the World Cup, but for the Aussies at least it will be nothing worse tha

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