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1973 ジャパン欧州遠征 下園、吉田の活躍

RUGBY INTERNATIONAL NEWS より
http://rugby-international.blogspot.jp/

Japan Tour to Wales, England and France 1973

In September and October 1973 Japan toured Wales, England and France playing eleven games on tour winning two and losing nine. Wales did not accord test status to the test against Japan and thus caps were not awarded with the team playing as Wales XV. Japan accorded the match against Wales test status and awarded caps. In England, Japan played England U23s according test match status and caps to the match. In the test against France, both France and Japan accorded the game test status and awarded caps.

After the defeat at the hands of England U23, the 1973 Japan tour of Europe crossed the channel to France for the final leg of the long, eleven game tour. Japan suffered further losses to French regional sides in Avignon and Perpignan but then came up with their second win in ten tour games when they beat Limousin 19-8 in Brive in the lead up to the final game of the tour, the full test against France in Bordeaux.

Of the three tests on tour, Japan played a Wales XV side in Cardiff and then an England U23 side in London but this was a full test against France with test match status and caps accorded on both sides. This inaugural test against France was played at the Stade Municipal in Bordeaux on Saturday, 27 October 1973 in what was Test No.40 and Japan Game No.96. It was also the third test in a row for the Yokoi brothers with Hisashi as Japan coach number ten, and younger brother Akira as Japan captain number twenty-one in partnership as coach and captain.

Coach Hisashi Yokoi made minimal changes for this test from the side that went down to England U23s two weeks prior in London with Kazumi Ohigashi replacing Mitsuo Atokawa as hooker and Junji Yoshida from Yawata Steel replacing Yoshiharu Yamaguchi on the side of the scrum in what would be his first and last test. At halfback Ryozo Imazato was reinstalled after Hiroaki Shukuzawa started in the first two tests on tour while in the No10 jersey Masakatsu Iguchi got his first start in a test. Elsewhere, the rest of the starting XV remained unchanged.

Japan got the scoreboard ticking over in this test with 21-year-old Waseda University fullback Nobuyuki Ueyama kicking an early penalty goal. However, France responded with a try to centre Gilles Delaigue in the 22nd minute to give the home side a 4-3 lead. Not to be outdone though, Japan came up with their first try in the 36th to hooker Ohigashi from a lineout to grab back the lead 7-4. Almost immediately after this, the French took their opportunities from a scrum in front of the Japan posts in an 8-9 move that saw halfback and captain Max Barrau score the second try for the home side. The successful conversion extended the lead to 10-7, the eventual halftime score.

As the second half got under way, France were the first to score with a converted try to right wing Roland Bertranne extending the lead to 16-7. After that though, the Japan backs sprang into action with tries to left wing Yoshihiro Sakata and outside centre Fumiharu Shimazaki making it a one point game with the hosts holding onto a 16-15 lead. Unfortunately, the visitors could not maintain the momentum and additional tries to No8 Olivier Saisset, flanker Jean-Claude Skrela and fullback Jean-Michel Aguirre blew out the final scoreline to 30-18 in what had been a competitive contest for the majority of the test.

With this being the last test on tour and the final test for 1973, it also meant the final test in a red and white hooped Japan jersey for a number of players. In the forwards, tighthead prop Masaaki Shimozono played his eleventh and final test and flanker Yoshida his first and last. In the backs, this was also to be the final international appearance for 31-year-old Kintetsu winger Sakata in what was his sixteenth test while centre Shimazaki played his tenth and final test. Furthermore, on the bench, with 12 tests under his belt Atokawa had also played his last test and for five-eighth Tadamasa Kamohara (Fujimoto) he had played the last of his 14 tests.

The French side also contained a number of names that were representative of some of the great French sides of this period. Fullback Jean-Michel Aguirre was in the early stages of his 39-test career while centre Jo Maso was coming to the end of his playing days. In later years, Maso would have a managerial role with the national team and was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2003. Further, wing Roland Bertranne would play 69 tests between 1971 and 1981. In the forwards, although this would be the one and only test for loosehead prop Jacques Rougerie, the Japan connection did not stop there as his son Aurelien would play on the wing against Japan thirty years later in the 2003 RWC and then in the centres against Japan in the 2011 RWC. Elsewhere in the forwards, backrower Jean-Claude Skrela would not only play 46 times for France between 1971 and 1978 but he would coach the French national side from 1995 to 1999, winning the Grand Slam in 1997 and 1998 and taking them to the final at the 1999 RWC. Skrela also scored the first four point try in a test against Australia in November 1971 while his son David also represented France from the bench against Japan at the 2011 RWC.

Game 1: East Glamorgan 23 d Japan 11, 22 September 1973, Penygraig. (Japan Game Number 86)
Game 2: Monmouthshire 26 d Japan 16, 26 September 1973, Pontypool Park, Pontypool. (Japan Game Number 87)
Game 3: West Glamorgan 19 d Japan 6, 29 September 1973, The Gnoll, Neath. (Japan Game Number 88)
Game 4: Japan 12 d Western Counties (Wales) 9, 2 October 1973, Stradey Park, Llanelli. (Japan Game Number 89)
Game 5: Test v Wales XV.
Game 6: Midland Counties (England) 10 d Japan 6, 9 October 1973, Welford Road, Leicester. (Japan Game Number 91)
Game 7: Test v England U23s.
Game 8: Provence 51 d Japan 19, 17 October 1973, Avignon. (Japan Game Number 93)
Game 9: Roussillon 29 d Japan 18, 21 October 1973, Perpignan. (Japan Game Number 94)
Game 10: Japan 19 d Limousin 8, 24 October 1973, Brive. (Japan Game Number 95)
Game 11: Test v France.

Wales XV 62 – Japan 14. Saturday, 06 October 1973, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff. (Test No.38, Japan Game No.90)
England U23s 19 – Japan 10. Saturday, 13 October 1973, Twickenham, London. (Test No.39, Japan Game No.92)
France 30 – Japan 18. Saturday, 27 October 1973, Stade Municipal, Bordeaux. (Test No.40, Japan Game No.96)

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