The Japan National Team, who are playing in the first round of the Rugby World Cup in France, will face Samoa at 1 a.m. on 29 June Japan time.
The excitement among the children who play rugby is also high ahead of the big match against Samoa.

Rugby class: waiting list for children

At rugby classes run by NPOs on the campus of Yokohama National University in Yokohama City, the number of children who want to play rugby has increased since the last World Cup held in Japan in 2019, and there is a waiting list for cancellations.

On the 27th, about 1 players from the first grade of elementary school to the third year of junior high school practiced, and they were expecting the victory of the Japan national team.

Third-year junior high school student: "Japan is getting stronger, so I think we can win."

A male student in the third year of junior high school said, "It may be an uphill battle, but I think we can win because our Japan are getting stronger and stronger."

Sixth grader: "I want you to break down Samoa's defense"

A sixth-grade boy who watched the match between Japan and England in France said, "The players' spirit and intensity on the world stage were amazing, and I hope they can break down the Samoan defence with their speedy attacks."

Coach: "I want the kids to play excitingly"

Coach Taishi Kano of the Wynas Rugby Academy said, "I want the Japan National Team to show exciting performances and become a presence that children can look up to."

Official store in Tokyo Fans buy support goods

At the official store of the Japan representative in Tokyo, many fans are shopping for support goods.

The Maruzen Marunouchi Bookstore in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, has set up an official store for the Japan Rugby National Team from the 5th of this month, selling approximately 700 kinds of official goods.

On the evening of the 27th, many fans visited the store to buy cheering goods one after another, such as replica uniforms of the Japan national team and towels with the names of the players.

According to the store, products related to captain Kazuki Himeno and veteran Michael Leech are especially popular, and they sell out as soon as they arrive.

Japan National Team: I'm looking forward to this tournament as well.

A woman in her 50s who visited on her way home from work said, "When I came to buy books, there was a rugby corner and I stopped by to watch the World Cup.

I'm going to France to watch the match against Argentina

A woman in her 1s who is planning to go to France to watch the final match of the first round against Argentina said, "I have been addicted to rugby since the last tournament in 50. In the match against Samoa, I just want them to score as many goals as possible and earn points."

Official store representative: "Good luck to win the championship"

Mr. Yasushi Nakajima of Maruzen Marunouchi Head Office, who is in charge of the official rugby store, said, "Rugby had a strong image of men, but I feel that it has become a national sport with a large number of customers such as young women and people with children.

In Toulouse, where the match will be played

Ahead of the match against Samoa, there were some expecting a good performance in Toulouse.

A man from Australia said, "I'm going to the stadium to watch the Japan-Samoa match, and the rugby in Japan has progressed a lot and there are a lot of good players. Samoa has also gotten stronger in the last few years, but I think Japan is stronger."

A local man from Toulouse said, "I think it will be a great match, Japan are a team that will surprise us and I have high expectations that they will do something."

The 17-year-old man from France said: "Samoa are strong, but the Japan are stronger, I think it will be a good game but I think Japan will win. I think Japan will win Pool D."