Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 6:10 am

Shocking news for Japanese fans. A sad last few days for rugby.

Former Japan national team captain and manager Seiji Hirao, one of the most popular players of his time, passed away on Thursday at the age of 53, sources at Top League side Kobe Kobelco Steelers said.

Known throughout his homeland as "Mr. Rugby," Hirao led Fushimi Kogyo, his Kyoto high school, to the national high school title in the 1980-1981 season.

From there he went to the city's Doshisha University, where he helped that august institution to three national university titles.

After he graduated in 1985, Hirao spent time in England playing for the famous Richmond club in west London before returning the following year to embark on a career with corporate side Kobe Steel.

With Hirao at its core, the Steelers became the team to beat, winning seven successive corporate and national titles between 1989 and 1995.

After winning 35 caps for his country, and representing Japan in the 1987, 1991 and 1995 Rugby World Cups, Hirao finally hung up his boots (as a player) and made the transition to coach, first at Kobe and then with the Japan national team, which he led at the 1999 World Cup in Wales.

Quitting the post in 2000, Hirao returned to Kobe to take on the role of general manager at the Steelers.


http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161020/p2a/00m/0sp/006000c

Rugby Fan

Posts : 5789
Join date : 2012-09-14

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 1:01 pm

Hirao scoring a try against Ireland in 1995.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNqYENmUBOA

Hirao's status in Japan comes from his dominating presence at school, university and club level. Every team he played for won trophies. Japan saw less success at international level, but Hirao was widely regarded by opponents as being a class apart. He did play in the 1989 28-24 win over Scotland, which was a highlight at the time.

Rugby Fan

Posts : 5789
Join date : 2012-09-14

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by Notch on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 7:27 pm

More very sad news. I wasn't aware of Hirao until now, but it seems he is as big a presence in Japanese rugby as Foley was in Ireland. My heart goes out to Japanese rugby fans.
Notch
Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 31
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by wolfball on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 4:20 pm

Notch wrote:More very sad news. I wasn't aware of Hirao until now, but it seems he is as big a presence in Japanese rugby as Foley was in Ireland. My heart goes out to Japanese rugby fans.

Well said; relatedly I hope with the Japan RWC we get more coverage of Japanese rugby in general in the Northern Hemisphere as they really are the shining example of a country going from 0 to 100 in terms of rugby interest and growth in a short amount of time, due in no small part to the likes of Hirao.

wolfball

Posts : 975
Join date : 2011-08-18
Age : 35

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by RiscaGame on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 5:59 am

RIP

RiscaGame

Posts : 2916
Join date : 2016-01-24

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by Shifty on Fri 28 Oct 2016, 6:19 pm

Rip - sad news I remember him playing against Wales.
Shifty
Shifty

Posts : 7357
Join date : 2011-04-26
Age : 40
Location : Kenfig Hill, Bridgend

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 11 Feb 2017, 11:08 am



There was a memorial service for Seiji Hirao. It's common to have a photograph of the deceased up, and you can see it in the video in front of a floral arrangement in the shape of a rugby ball on a pitch.

It's in Japanese, so I doubt many of you will watch too far, but you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved when his old professor breaks down just after the minute mark.

Rugby Fan

Posts : 5789
Join date : 2012-09-14

Back to top Go down

Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53 Empty Re: Japan rugby great Seiji Hirao passes away at 53

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum