Tokyo Crusaders RFC was founded in 1990 by players from Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, including the management team of Ian Brahne (NZ), Kevin Coleman (AUS), Stewart Henwood (NZ), and Andrew Carroll (IRE), who were seeking an alternative to the airball style game played in Japan at the time, and wanted to bring real rucking, mauling and scrummaging to The Big Mikan. The first training session was held along the banks of Tama river, and months later the Cru played their first ever game against Itochu, on 23rd September, 1990 – ending with a 20-8 win.
Attracting a motley crew of Irish GAA, Rugby Union and League, Aussie Rules and American football players, the Cru played 23 games in their first year – recording an impressive 18 wins against 5 losses, with 398 points for and 104 against.
Via a sponsorship with a local rugby goods manufacturer a team uniform came about – sky blue jerseys and socks with black shorts, and for the second season the team emblem – a Crusader sword down the centre with the word “CRUSADERS” at the top and the kanji characters for “TOKYO” at the bottom, split by the sword – made it on to the kit.
The second year saw player numbers increase, and 15 wins, 3 draws and 6 losses were recorded during 24 games (385 points for and 219 against) – including a tour to Manila to play a game against the Manila Nomads.
The Cru has since continued to attract players of various backgrounds and abilities, and remains as competitive on the field as socially active off it. We are currently the 1st Division of the Shuto League, and in the 1st Division of The Tokyo Cup Tournament, which is held every Spring.
If you want to join Tokyo Crusaders for training, games and social events, write to us by email or come and see us in training or at a match. Check out our latest Fixtures Schedule on the top page.
WE ARE TOKYO CRUSADERS
Check out this short documentary by Tokyo Crusaders member Jackson Polletta. If this doesn’t make you want to join us we don’t know what will.