Japan Rugby’s Sakura Sevens Women’s team, currently ranked 11th in the world, were on Guam for an intense ten day training camp ahead of their attendance at the World Rugby Seven’s Series round in Sydney Australia in February – but with their eyes clearly on performing well at the Olympics being held in Tokyo in late July.
In the spirit of World Rugby’s Impact Beyond 2019, Japan Rugby Union’s Chairman Kensuke Iwabuchi suggested that the Sakura Sevens team could include some training for Guam’s women rugby players during their camp.
Find out more about: Guam Rugby
Sakura Team manager Akane Kagawa was happy to help and quickly set aside time and resources for a clinic for high school girls and a combined training session for Guam’s national women’s training squad.
Sakura Sevens Women hosted 80 of Guam’s high school girls to a coaching clinic run by the team’s trainers on Thursday. Once the trainers got over the surprise of seeing the number of attentive girls ready to learn, they put the girls through various training modules focused on the skills needed for Seven’s rugby.
Members of Guam National Women’s Seven’s training group joined the Sakura Seven’s women in a joint training session on Sunday. This session was part of the team’s normal training program and featured offensive and defensive situations around kickoffs and set pieces.
While the Guam ladies entered the training with enthusiasm and energy, the different skill and fitness levels of the Japanese were soon evident. However, the Guam ladies were thrilled to get the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best Asia Rugby has to offer in Women’s Rugby.
The Impact Beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 program continues because of the extra efforts by major unions like Japan Rugby in helping small unions like Guam develop and grow.
Special thanks to JRFU’s Kensuke Iwabuchi, Akane Kagawa, the Sakura Sevens trainers and players for making a difference.
Photos and Article Courtesy Guam Rugby