Travis Dixon – First Five-Eight


I’ve been playing rugby since I was four but gave it up for a while to focus on a basketball career. After I realised that it was difficult to make it in the big time being a tiny, white guy, I decided to come back to rugby. I made my debut for the Cru about five years ago after realising that the team strikes a great balance between on the field commitment, off the field carousing,… and practice time (i.e. next to none).

  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Occupation: Teacher
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 180 cm
  • Weight: 89 kg
  • Quote of the season: “If it was me standing next to me, I would pass it more.”

Sean Gibson – Back Row, Lock

I have been playing rugby with the Crusaders continuously since I first moved to Tokyo in 1996. Many people have come and gone during that time and many things have changed, but the one constant is the quality of the players over the years, both on and off the pitch. I started rugby in university in the US and have been passionate about the game ever since.

  • Nationality: USA
  • Occupation: Finance
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 183 cm
  • Weight: 83 kg
  • Joined: 1996
  • Nickname: Gibbo

Jerry Sysourath – Back Three

I started playing rugby in 2013 when a friend asked me to try. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the game because of the contact, which I had missed from playing American football in HS. I played for New Mexico Brujos up until I joined the Cru in 2015. I found that they were a near exact image of my prior club which helped getting settled in an easy process.

  • Nationality: Minnesota, USA
  • Occupation: Engineering at governing body
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 185 cm
  • Weight: 90 kg
  • Joined: 2015

Rob Galbraith – Flanker/Loose Forward


I joined the Cru in May 2014 after 6 years with London Japanese RFC. I was really taken by the friendliness of the club on and off the field, as well as the humility of the players during games, despite being able to rack up some large scores in my first few games. It took a while to deal with the tropical conditions of playing in the searing heat and humidity of Summer – not easy when you`ve been playing in overcast and damp England all your life!

I started playing rugby at the age of 10 after my parents decided they’d had enough of me in Japan and shipped me out to boarding school in Rugby, England. Took a “sabbatical” for a few years at Uni after flirting briefly with football and then realizing I was awful at it. Great to be back playing, and with such a great bunch of guys.

  • Nationality: English/Japanese
  • Occupation: Accountant
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 180 cm
  • Weight: 81 kg

Frank Saffery – Lock


First picked up a rugby ball aged 8 and still, to this day, thoroughly love the game and the awesome social aspect of it. Rugby has a camaraderie you will not find with any other sport. At the moment, I’m happily playing my weekends and organising the Crusaders social events. It’s a bit different playing in Japan compared to England, but Rugby is Rugby and I’m just happy to be able to play.

  • Nationality: England
  • Occupation: Researcher
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 203 cm
  • Weight: 104 kg

Gaz Lim – Wing / Fullback

Gareth Lim - Tokyo Crusaders RFC

My Cru debut was the 2008 tour of Nagoya. Picking up the ball in 35 degree heat, we had 14 players and no subs that day but it was a legendary tour. I started playing rubgy at 13. I played some college rugby at Leeds, before taking it up again years later with the Crusaders. There is an amazing spirit and the CRU are a great bunch of guys from all over the world.

  • Nationality: British
  • Occupation: Recruitment
  • Age: 36
  • Height: 177 cm
  • Weight: 78 kg

Stewart Henwood – Openside Flanker

Started rugby as a 7 year-old. Played right through to high school for Shirley RFC, and one season with Brighton RFC, (to be with my mates). My first season was as wing, cause I was a nippy wee fella, but got bored and decided I’d rather chase the ball and the guy holding it. Moved to flanker and never looked back. Biggest schoolboy memory was looking up at my Dad after coming to, and someone was saying “Yep, looks like he’s gonna need a few stitches”. Started again as a founding member of the Crusaders and played 4 years, after which I retired due to a promise to my new wife. On return to NZ, I went to see my little brother’s game and they were short. His coach pulled me on and I ended up playing another 6 years of 2nd and 3rd grade for Shirley RFC. So much for the promise. Once again, coming out of retirement to play for the Cru. My wife has ‘given up’.

  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Occupation: Teacher
  • Age: 50
  • Height: 171 cm
  • Weight: 74 kg