South Africans

Cheslin Kolbe celebrates with his teammates in Japan. Image: @SaffasRugby via X.

South Africans playing in Japan Rugby League One

South African rugby stars make a significant impact in Japan’s League One, showcasing their skills across various teams.

South Africans

Cheslin Kolbe celebrates with his teammates in Japan. Image: @SaffasRugby via X.

South African rugby players have made a significant impact in Japan’s top-tier rugby competition, League One. The 2023-2024 season has seen an influx of talented South Africans showcasing their skills across various teams in the league.

Kubota Spears Boast Impressive South African Contingent

The Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay have the largest South African representation in the league. Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx leads the charge, alongside fellow hooker Schalk Erasmus.

The team also features three formidable locks in Ruan Botha, David Bulbring, and JD Schickerling. Centre Rikus Pretorius adds depth to their backline.

Mie Honda Heat’s Forwards

Mie Honda Heat has bolstered their forward pack with the addition of prop Matthys Basson and lock Franco Mostert.

Flank Justin Downey and centre Dawid Kellerman complete the South African quartet in the team.

Saitama Wild Knights’ Springbok Duo

The Saitama Wild Knights have secured the services of two Springbok locks, Lood de Jager and Ockie Barnard.

The team also features the dynamic centre Damian de Allende, who played a crucial role in South Africa’s 2019 Rugby World Cup triumph.

Shizuoka Blue Revs’ Loose Forward and Centre

Shizuoka Blue Revs have added versatile loose forward Kwagga Smith to their ranks.

Smith’s explosive style of play is complemented by the presence of centre Sylvian Mahuza.

Yokohama Canon Eagles’ Impressive Backline

The Yokohama Canon Eagles have assembled an impressive South African backline.

Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, known for his tenacious defence and box kicks, joins forces with centres Jesse Kriel and Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Wing SP Marais adds finishing prowess to the team.

Other Notable South African Players

Other teams in League One have also benefited from the presence of South African players. Tokyo Sungoliath has acquired the services of the electrifying wing Cheslin Kolbe.

Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo has added lock PJ Steenkamp and utility back Stephanus du Toit to their squad. Toyota Verblitz has secured the signing of World Rugby Player of the Year 2019, Pieter-Steph du Toit.

The influx of South African players in Japan’s League One highlights the growing global appeal of the competition. These players bring a wealth of experience and skill to their respective teams, raising the level of competition in the league.

As the 2023-2024 season unfolds, rugby fans in Japan and around the world will be eager to see how these South African stars perform and contribute to their teams’ success. Their presence adds an exciting dimension to an already thrilling league.