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Rich Freeman

For Rich Freeman's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Brave Blossoms-Springboks match could boil down to battle of wits

Rugby Oct 19, 2019

Brave Blossoms-Springboks match could boil down to battle of wits

Japan's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against South Africa on Sunday could well end up being determined by which coach is the better poker player. At first glance, it would appear Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has made his intentions very clear by packing his bench with ...

Collective unity behind Japan's remarkable run

Rugby Oct 14, 2019

Collective unity behind Japan's remarkable run

The defining moment during Sunday's enthralling Rugby World Cup game between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama was not Kenki Fukuoka's superb second try. Nor was it any of the umpteen tackles put in by Luke Thompson or Ryoto Nakamura. It came 21 minutes into a ...

Japan-Scotland clash living up to hype at Rugby World Cup

Rugby Oct 12, 2019

Japan-Scotland clash living up to hype at Rugby World Cup

The Japan vs. Scotland clash in Yokohama was always one of the most talked about fixtures when the draw for the Rugby World Cup was made in Kyoto in 2017. And so it has proved, though sadly not always for the reasons most were hoping ...

South Africa coaches trying not to think too far ahead

Rugby Oct 7, 2019

South Africa coaches trying not to think too far ahead

With so many permutations as to which teams from Pool A will reach the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup — made more complicated by the possible intervention of Typhoon Hagibis — South Africa's coaching team is not looking too far ahead. The Springboks should ...

Brave Blossoms play down comments on officiating

Rugby Oct 2, 2019

Brave Blossoms play down comments on officiating

Japan defense coach Scott Hansen put aside reports that World Rugby has admitted the referee got three out of four offside calls wrong in the Brave Blossoms' 19-12 defeat of Ireland last weekend in Shizuoka, saying his team "were only looking forward." "Those looking back, ...

Japan's heroes looking to down Samoa's villains

Rugby Oct 2, 2019

Japan's heroes looking to down Samoa's villains

Much has been made of the Japan players singing along to "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys as a way of bonding, but a more appropriate song for coach Jamie Joseph to play for his team this week would be "Heroes" ...