Michael Leitch sets Japan record with his 15th Rugby World Cup appearance

Sep 18, 2023

Japan fell to their first loss of the 2023 Rugby World Cup on Sunday, going down 34-12 to England in Pool D in front of 30,500 at Stade de Nice.

With the heat and humidity leading to handling errors for both sides, the Brave Blossoms produced, for moments at least, one of their most spirited performance in recent years.

But it was not enough, as the 2003 champions eventually took control of the game in the final 20 minutes to go top of the pool with nine points.


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Michael Leitch set a new Japan record with his 15th Rugby World Cup in the Pool D clash. The 34-year-old Leitch eclipsed former team-mate Luke Thompson.

England coach Steve Borthwick, a Japan assistant coach eight years ago, paid tribute to the flanker. “Michael Leitch is a tremendous player," said Borthwick. "I was privileged to work with him in the buildup to the 2015 World Cup. He’s at the very heart of everything that’s good about Japanese rugby."