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MICHAEL LEITCH

Japan's Michael Leitch (right) shakes hands with Chile's Rodrigo Fernandez following their match at the Rugby World Cup in Toulouse, France, on Sunday.
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Sep 11, 2023
Japan's Michael Leitch hopes to see Chile at future Rugby World Cups
While supporters are often referred to as a team's 24th man, it felt like Los Condores had a 25th, 26th or more on Sunday.
The Brave Blossoms will face Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup in Sapporo on Saturday.
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Jul 21, 2023
Brave Blossoms to continue World Cup preparations against familiar opponent Samoa
Despite two big defeats against an All Blacks XV, head coach Jamie Joseph has kept changes to a minimum, bringing in just three players to the starting XV that lost 41-27 last week.
Japan Times
Rugby
Jul 22, 2023
Michael Leitch red card costs Japan in World Cup tune-up against Samoa
Samoa edged the home side 24-22 in Sapporo in what was a dress rehearsal for the two teams' Pool D encounter at the World Cup in France later this year.
Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 11, 2021
Michael Leitch among headliners for Brave Blossoms' autumn tour
Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo flanker Michael Leitch and Toyota Verblitz No. 8 Kazuki Himeno are among the 37 players named to the Japan squad for the upcoming autumn test series, the Japan Rugby Football Union said Monday.
Japan Times
Rugby
Jul 4, 2021
Brave Blossoms fail to exploit their chances in loss to Ireland
After an evenly matched and entertaining first half in Dublin, repeated penalties by Japan allowed Ireland to earn revenge for their 2019 Rugby World Cup defeat.
Japan Times
Rugby
May 24, 2021
Japan names squad for European rugby tour
Japan head coach Jamie Joseph on Monday named captain Michael Leitch, fullback/wing Kotaro Matsushima and No. 8 Kazuki Himeno among 36 players for a two-match European tour in June and July.
Japan Times
Rugby
Nov 9, 2020
Top League moves big-name season opener to National Stadium
The Japan Rugby Top League announced Monday it will go back to the future by moving its Jan. 16 season opener to the National Stadium, the centerpiece of the postponed Tokyo Olympics.
Japan Times
Rugby
Apr 17, 2020
Michael Leitch says Japan must become 'One Team' to beat coronavirus
“One Team,” the slogan used by Japan's Brave Blossoms at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was selected as the 2019 buzzword of the year.
Japan Times
Rugby
Apr 13, 2020
Six months on, Brave Blossoms captain Michael Leitch reflects on historic World Cup
The New Zealand-born back rower became a symbol of the multicultural squad that achieved Japan's first-ever quarterfinal appearance at the tournament last fall.
Japan Times
Rugby
Jan 12, 2020
Top League kicks off in front of big crowds
The 2019-2020 Japan Rugby Top League season kicked off Sunday with a plethora of world superstars and Rugby World Cup winners playing in front of big crowds across the nation.
Japan Times
Rugby
Dec 25, 2019
Leitch wants to make sure rugby's current popularity remains high
Since the staging of a successful Rugby World Cup this year, the popularity of the game has been at an all-time high in Japan. This, however, wasn't an entirely new experience for star Michael Leitch and some of his Brave Blossoms teammates.
Japan Times
SPORTS
Dec 21, 2019
Sports, cultural events combine to provide spirited public unveiling of new National Stadium
The brand-new National Stadium, which will be the main venue for next summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, was introduced to the general public on Saturday for the first time since construction was completed late last month.
Japan Times
Rugby
Dec 11, 2019
Brave Blossoms express gratitude at Tokyo parade
Members of Japan's men's national rugby team marched through Tokyo's Marunouchi Naka-dori street on Wednesday in a parade held to express appreciation for the support they received from fans during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Japan Times
OLYMPICS
Dec 8, 2019
Michael Leitch, Hakuho nominated for torch relay
Brave Blossoms captain Michael Leitch, yokozuna Hakuho and Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara are set to run in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games torch relay after being nominated by municipalities in the nation's capital, a source on the organizing committee said Saturday.
Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 19, 2019
Brave Blossoms' RWC quarterfinal brings back memories of rugby great Seiji Hirao
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Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 18, 2019
Brave Blossoms coach Jamie Joseph says team is ready for physicality of Springboks
Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has warned his players to expect a brutal onslaught from South Africa's forwards when they go head to head in Sunday's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal.
Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 14, 2019
Japan captain Michael Leitch looking for All Blacks' help to beat Springboks
Japan captain Michael Leitch said Monday he would be asking for help from a trio of former All Blacks in the build-up to next weekend's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal with South Africa.
Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 14, 2019
Brave Blossoms warn rivals 'there's more to come' after reaching Rugby World Cup quarterfinals
Japan's players allowed themselves a moment of satisfaction after beating Scotland to reach the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals for the first time on Sunday, but warned their next opponent, South Africa: "we're not finished yet."
Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 3, 2019
Michael Leitch returning to starting lineup for Japan against Samoa
Japan coach Jamie Joseph opted Thursday to start Michael Leitch but keep Pieter Labuschagne as game captain for the Rugby World Cup Pool A game against Samoa this weekend.
Japan Times
Rugby
Sep 28, 2019
Brave Blossoms savor win over Ireland and shift focus to next match
Japan regular captain Michael Leitch hailed his team's momentous Rugby World Cup win over Ireland on Saturday as a "massive step" toward a first-ever place in the quarterfinals, but warned that nothing has been decided yet.

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