In September 2019 University of Queensland Rugby Football Club (UQRFC) conducted a very successful tour to Japan during the Rugby World Cup.

Three of the club’s teams (two men’s and one ladies) played against teams from a number of Japanese universities, including Toyo University Rugby Club in Saitama.

The matches in Saitama were organised to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Queensland Saitama Sister State Relationship.

Less than a month later, during Saitama Government’s trade mission to Queensland, UQRFC and Toyo University Rugby Club signed an MOU to facilitate greater cooperation and exchange of information between the two clubs in relation to rugby.

Off the back of the MOU, and in record time, on 24 February 2020, Mr Hayato Kondo (pictured,left) became the first student from Toyo University to spend time at UQRFC.

During his stay Mr Kondo participated in a four week program the club had designed around his visit and spent time with one of UQ’s student players – Mr Jake Tierney, who plays in UQRFC’s U20 Colts team.

Prior to the COVID-19 restrictions UQRFC had also arranged further tours from Japan during July/August. These included an eight person Saitama high school group and a further five students from Toyo University for six weeks.

Unfortunately these programs had to be postponed due to the current restrictions.

UQRFC is currently designing webinars in rugby skills and coaching skills which it intends to share with Toyo University and other universities in Japan.

The AJS-Q congratulates UQRFC and Toyo University Rugby Club on such a strong start to the relationship and wishes the two clubs well for future activities post COVID-19.