• Kyodo

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The Japanese rugby players association was launched on Tuesday, with president Toshiaki Hirose saying he was confident it would improve the Japanese game.

“I want to work with the firm belief the players association is an organization that will improve Japanese rugby,” said former Japan international Hirose, who retired at the end of last season.

The association will not be unionized and is not a body created for the purpose of labor negotiations.

It is made up of roughly 600 players who play in the Top League and are eligible to play for Japan, as well as those who belong to the Sunwolves Super Rugby franchise.

The association has an eye on allowing women to join in the future.

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