|Date of birth||January 25, 1968|
|Place of birth||Jōnan, Fukuoka, Japan|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
|School||Jonan High School|
East Fukuoka High School
|Rugby union career|
Wataru Murata (村田亙, Murata Wataru) (born 25 January 1968 in Jōnan) is a former Japanese rugby player and coach. He played as scrum-half. He currently coaches Senshu University Rugby Football Club.
Murata started rugby at elementary school. In the fourth year in the Senshu University Rugby Football Club, he contributed to victory of the Kanto University League title as captain. Later, his team played against Meiji University in the Kanto College match, which resulted in a 13-13 draw. Immediately after the game, even though it comes to drawing for a university championship, he pulled out tears and draw tears. After graduating from high school, he joined Toshiba Fuchu, he contributed to the third consecutive victory of the Japanese championship since 1996, demonstrating his playing style matching the "P to GO" tactics used by the then-coach Shogo Mukai. In 1990, he won a match against USA playing for Japan Under-23. Murata got his first cap in a test match against USA in 1991. He also took part at the 1991 Rugby World Cup in the match against Scotland, in the 1995 Rugby World Cup and in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. He earned 41 international caps for Japan.
In 1999, Murata signed a professional contract with Aviron Bayonnais of the French league and he became the first Japanese professional rugby union player. In the French league, he played 44 games and scored 7 tries, including two tries in the debut match., playing an active role as a central player in the team. At the time, on Rugby Magazine and on his official website, he reported his life in France.
In 2001, he moved to Yamaha Júbilo, leading the team with more sense of play. In 2002, he won the Kansai Company League for the first time.
In 2005, he returned to play for Japan at the age of 37, beating the caps record that Ross Thompson had. (this record was beaten by Hitoshi Ono for the 2019 Rugby World Cup). Also, he was the oldest player to participate in the Top League, at the age of 40.
In an article for the Monthly VS. magazine, Murata stated that he " can play up to 40 years in Top League". He took 40 years tas player, as he decided to continue playing in the 2007-08 Top League season.
As of January 2008, Murata announced that he will retire from his player career from the 2007-08 season. On 2 February, after the match against Toshiba Brave Lupus, his retirement ceremony was held, a bouquet was presented to Murata by his best friend, Jubilo Iwata player Masashi Nakayama, who was also at age 40, with which Murata also exchanged each other's jerseys.
In 2008, by request of the JRFU, Murata was appointed as coach of the Japan national rugby sevens team and assumed office. In the same year he led Japan at the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time. In October, he led Japan in the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers in Hong Kong. He also coached Japan national sevens team in the World Cup Sevens, held in Dubai, in March 2009.
As of 2012, he was appointed coach for Senshu University Rugby Football Club Old Boys. Senshu returned to the first division in 2014 for the first time in 13 years. In addition to Nakayama, in the same age, Katsuyuki Kiyomiya was also present.
Júbilo Iwata is a professional Japanese association football team that currently play in the J2 League. The team name Júbilo means 'joy' in Spanish and Portuguese. The team's hometown is Iwata, Shizuoka prefecture and they play at Yamaha Stadium. For big fixtures such as the Shizuoka Derby with Shimizu S-Pulse and against some of the top teams in J1, Júbilo play at the much larger Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi City, a venue built specifically for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. They practice at Okubo Ground in Iwata and Iwata Sports Park Yumeria.
The Japan national rugby union team, often known as the Cherry Blossoms, Sakura, and more recently The Brave Blossoms is traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia and has enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which was founded in 1926. They compete annually in the Pacific Nations Cup and previously in the Asia Rugby Championship. They have also participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament began in 1987.
The Japan Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union in Japan. It was formed 30 November 1926, and organises matches for the Japan national team.
The Top League is a rugby union competition in Japan. It is the highest level of professional rugby competition in the country. The Japan Rugby Football Union created the competition in 2003, by absorbing the Japan Company Rugby Football Championship, to drive up the overall standard and popularity of the sport and improve the results of the Japan national rugby union team. The chief architect of the league was Hiroaki Shukuzawa who strongly felt the urgency of improving Japanese domestic company rugby to a professional level which would allow Japan to compete more convincingly at Rugby World Cups.
Toshiba Fuchu Rugby Football Club – better known as the Toshiba Brave Lupus, with Lupus referring to a wolf in Latin – is a Japanese rugby union team in the Top League. They are based in Fuchu, Tokyo, as is their local rival Suntory Sungoliath. They won the second ever Top League championship in the 2004-5 season and the Microsoft Cup in 2005 under their innovative and inventive coach Masahiro Kunda, himself a former hooker for Toshiba and Japan. They are particularly known for the strength of their mauls. Before the Top League was created, the team was called Toshiba Fuchu after their location. Their slogan for 2006 season was "Once again to the Pinnacle (Restart)".
Yamaha Júbilo is a rugby union team based in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The team came second behind Toshiba Brave Lupus in the second season of Japanese rugby's Top League (2004–05). They were coached by former All Black Grant Batty and Fijian player-coach Tabai Matson. Founded in 1984, its name was "Yamaha Motors Rugby Football Club".
Panasonic Wild Knights is a Japanese rugby union team based in Ōta city, Gunma prefecture which plays in the Top League. Inspired by Tony Brown at fly half, it dominated the league in the fifth season and was the first team to be unbeaten throughout a Top League season.
Masashi Nakayama is a Japanese football manager and former player who is the head coach of Júbilo Iwata. He played as a forward in his playing career. Born in Shizuoka, Nakayama attended Fujieda Higashi High School and University of Tsukuba before he joined Yamaha Motors of the Japan Soccer League, a precursor to the J1 League, which consisted of company sponsored teams. He retired in December 2012 at age 45 after playing 3 seasons for Consadole Sapporo, then he came back almost three years later with Azul Claro Numazu in Japan Football League, the club has been promoted to the J3 League since 2017. He also attends by the nickname Gon Nakayama.
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