7/06/2018

NSW Waratahs gear up for Japan

Photo credit: Getty Images

Hooker Damien Fitzpatrick will lead a NSW Waratahs team filled with youth and experience to Japan next week.

The NSW Waratahs will play Japanese Top League side NEC Green Rockets on Sunday 17 June as one of the headline acts at the CHICHIBUNOMIYA Minato Rugby Festival in Tokyo, which is a celebration of the game in that part of the world.

Young front rower Cody Walker and loose forward Lachlan Swinton have been named in the tour squad and set to make their NSW Waratahs debut. Sydney University centre Will McDonnell has also been included.

NSW Waratahs Coach Daryl Gibson said next week’s game was an opportunity for these players to experience rugby at an international level.

“Rugby continues to grow in Japan and it is a great chance for us to be part of an international festival that will help promote the game in that region and also give our players an opportunity to play an international team,” Gibson said.

NSW Rugby and NSW Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore said the match was important for a range of reasons.

“Rugby is a global sport and in Asia, particularly in Japan, the sport is growing fast and we are delighted to help promote the game in that market. At the same time, our aim is to increase our own global brand awareness in an emerging market, both in terms of rugby and commercially to generate income to grow the game in our State

“We are also looking to further develop partnerships and exchange programmes with local universities to help Japanese students improve their English language skills through our education partner the University of NSW, and also develop rugby skills through programmes at our base in Daceyville,” Hore said.

NSW Waratahs Touring Squad: Damien Fitzpatrick (captain), Cameron Clark, Lalakai Foketi, Jake Gordon, Bryce Hegarty, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Maclean Jones, Mack Mason, Ryan McCauley, Will McDonnell, Will Miller, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Alex Newsome, Hugh Roach, Paddy Ryan, Mitchell Short, Irae Simone, Tom Staniforth, Lachlan Swinton, Shambeckler Vui, Cody Walker, Michael Wells and Brad Wilkin

About the festival
The week-long festival in Tokyo will be used to raise awareness and excitement for the hosts, the CHICHIBUNOMIYA Minato Rugby Festival 2018 Executive Committee, who will welcome the Rugby World Cup, the Olympic Games and the Paralympics over the next two years, and promote the game of rugby.

Catch up on the NSW Waratahs' progress throughout the 2018 season at our match-centre page.


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