Japan National Rugby team captain Michael Leitch signs a cardboard cutout of himself at a visit to Sapporo City Hall in this April 8 photo. The 30-year-old Leitch made the trip accompanied by his former rugby coach from his days as a student at Yamanote Senior High School. Japan will host the Rugby World Cup this September, with two games scheduled at the nearby Sapporo Dome. "My hope is the number of Japanese kids who want to play rugby will increase. But best of all for me would be if a student from Yamanote High School became a national team member," he joked. At the event to welcome Leitch to his hometown, he also expressed his ambitions for the tournament. "We're a strong team, we're going to aim to lift the trophy and see how far we can go," he said.
(Japanese original by Koichi Ogino, Hokkaido News Department)