Contributed by: Ash Nugent
The Japanese national Aussie Rules side, the Samurais, are touring Australia from the 4th to the 14th of August. The team will compete against amateur Australia sides Howlong, Box Hill North, Box Hill Super Rules and their final match against Melbourne Vietnam.
The Samurais' game schedule is below.
1) Howlong FC, August 5 at 11:00 am (Howlong, NSW)
2) Box Hill Super Rules, August 7 at 7.00 pm (Keysborough playing field 2, Mentone Grammar, Braeside)
3) Box Hill North FC, August 9 at 7.00 pm (Keysborough playing field 2, Mentone Grammar, Braeside)
4) Melbourne Vietnam FC, August 13 at 1:00 pm (Windy Hill, Essendon)
The team arrives at Melbourne Airport on the 4th and head straight to Howlong, NSW. They return to Melbourne in the evening of August 6th. Japan AFL and the Box Hill North football club have built a solid relationship over the past few years, so it is great to see the Samurais include a match against the club in their schedule.
Coinciding with the tour will be a reception held for the Samurais on the night of August 8 in Abbotsford.
An excellent sign for the health of the game in Japan is the number of Universities represented by players on the tour - six in all. The biggest contributor is Komazawa Uni with seven representatives, followed by Senshu, Keio, Hosei, Waseda and Kansai. Two of their current players Down Under, Kase Tsuyoshi and Tanaka Vigour, have also been named. Ages range from 18 to 25.
World Footy News