Cross Border Rugby — a series of challenge games between top club sides from Japan and New Zealand — wrapped up last weekend with the visitors victorious in three of four contests.
While Saitama Wild Knights may have been the only Japan Rugby League One (JRLO) team to get the better of Super Rugby opposition, and some in domestic rugby questioned the value and timing of the competition, many of those involved saw the nascent venture as an important stepping stone toward greater international collaboration.
Speaking after a narrow loss to the Chiefs, Kubota Spears’ Head Coach Frans Ludeke said his team was “really grateful for this. We need this even more. It’s only going to help all the players, excite the fans, and grow our fan base all over the world.”