Women’s rugby in Japan appears to be on the precipice of a boom.

The club game is getting stronger as teams move toward a more professionalized model, while homegrown talents like Sachiko Kato and Kanako Kobayashi are plying their trade in the top tier of English rugby.

There were further good tidings in February this year, when the Chiefs Manawa and Mie Pearls signed a memorandum of understanding to develop women’s rugby in New Zealand and Japan — the first partnership of its kind.