Make mecca of Japanese rugby jam-packed 

ラグビーの聖地・秩父宮を満員に! ―中大ラグビー部キャプテン桧山翔一選手、副キャプテン木上鴻佑選手―


Japan will become the first Asian country to host the 9th Rugby World Cup in 2019 following the decision made by the International Rugby Board (IRB) in July 2009. Rugby World Cup is claimed to be one of the world’s top three sports festivals along with the Soccer World Cup and the Olympics. It has been rapidly gaining popularity over the past years. The previous Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand in 2011 drew 1.4 million people to watch the matches played at 12 stadiums from Sept. 9 to Oct. 23. TV watchers numbered 3.9 billion in 207 countries across the world. In June this year, IRB ranked the Japan national team 10th in the world, the highest slot for Japan in its rugby history. The sport draws growing attention in Japan as the country prepares for Rugby World Cup 2019.

国際ラグビー評議会(International Rugby Board) は2009年7月、2019年の第9回ラグビー・ワールドカップを日本で開催することを決定した。ラグビー・ワールドカップは、サッカ・ワールドカップ、オリンピックとともに世界3大スポーツ大会とも言われ、前回11年のニュージーランド大会は、総観客動員数が約140万人、テレビ観戦者が世界207カ国で39億人を記録するほどの人気だ。日本代表は今年6月、過去最高となる世界ランキング10位にもなった。ラグビーは今、注目のスポーツとなっている。


  Chuo University Rugby Football Club belongs to the first division of the Kanto University Rugby Football Association (KURFA) which is made up of eight teams. Chuo is one of top contenders in the division. It took second place in the 2013 season, gaining the ticket to play this season’s final league match at the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium on Nov. 30. Club members, old boys and supporters are now pushing a campaign dubbed, “Drum up 10,000; Turn stadium Chuo blue!” Hakumon Herald interviewed Shoichi Hiyama and Kosuke Kigami, captain and sub-captain of the club, respectively. Hiyama, a fourth grader at the Faculty of Economics, plays as a prop (PR). Kigami, a fourth grader at the Faculty of Law, plays as a stand-off (SO) and center three-quarter back (CTB). He is set to play for the Ricoh Black Rams in the professional Top League after graduation.


 今回は、そんな中大ラグビー部からキャプテンでPRの桧山翔一選手(経済学部国際経済学科4年)、副キャプテンでトップリーグ・リコーブラックラムズに内定しているSO, CTB木上鴻佑選手(法学部法律学科4年)に話を聞いた。


-The whole university is backing your campaign to gather 10,000 supporters for the final match. What aspects of rugby do you want them to watch?



Hiyama: I think “impact” is one of the charms of rugby. It is a contact sport that’s sometimes called a “martial art on the turf”. So you can expect to see a clash of bodies like a martial art. Unlike American football, players don’t wear any protectors. They sometimes bleed and even break bones. I want the audiences to feel the eagerness and zeal with which they play. I also hope they will enjoy themselves by joining the players and their cheering party when they sing after scoring.

 桧山 ラグビーの魅力は、「衝撃」だと思います。ラグビーは、「芝生の上の格闘技」とも言われるコンタクトスポーツなので、格闘技さながらのぶつかり合いがみられると思います。アメフトのように防具を付けず、時に流血や骨折しながらもプレーする熱さを感じてほしいです。また、得点した後に選手や応援団皆で一緒に歌ったりするパフォーマンスを、お客さんも一緒に楽しんでもらえたらと思います。


Kigami: One of the characteristics of rugby is that the whole team attacks and defends in union. I would like people to see how our team is united. The variety of game developments is another charm of rugby. It may look hard to understand because it has complicated rules and there are a lot of foul plays. But you’ll find it more enjoyable once you know of the rules.

 木上 全員で一丸となって攻撃、守備をするのがラグビーの特徴の1つです。チームがまとまっている姿を観てほしいです。また、展開の多さもラグビーの魅力です。ルールが複雑で、反則が多く、一見分かりにくいのですが、そこを覚えると一層楽しめると思います。

-How do you practice and train yourselves?



Hiyama: We practice six days a week. We practice five days in the week when we have a match. We do weight training once or twice a week and try to build up our lower body regardless of our positions. We’ve been getting advice from our coach since last year.

桧山 練習は週に6日。試合がある週は5日です。ウエイトトレーニングは週に1、2回で、昨年からコーチについてもらいポジション関わらず下半身を鍛えていることが多いですね。


-Rugby players give us an image that they are physically big. How much do you eat?



Kigami: Well, my position doesn’t require a big body. I think I’m an average eater.

木上 僕はポジション的に、そんなに体が大きなわけではないので、普通だと思いますよ。


Hiyama: Perhaps against your expectations, I’m average, too. I’ve built this body (weighing 80 kg) with my natural talent. Of course, as you may imagine, there are players who eat a lot in our club. They eat heaps of rice with as much dish and wash them down with soda. We call them “vacuum”.

桧山 僕も意外と「普通」ですよ。天性の才能でこの身体をつくり上げました(笑い) もちろんラグビー部にはイメージ通りたくさん食べる部員もいます。山盛りのご飯に見合うだけおかずを食べ、それを炭酸飲料で流し込む。僕たちは「掃除機」と言っています(笑い)。


-What do you image about a packed Chichibunomiya Stadium?



Hiyama: I once watched the popular Waseda-Keio and Waseda-Meiji matches at packed stands and felt how much excited I would be if I played before so many people. The final match we’re going to play at Chichibunomiya is a golden chance for us. It would be great if all of you come to the stand and cheer for us as members of the Chuo family.

桧山 早慶戦や早明戦を観ていて、あれだけの観衆の中でプレーできたら、選手としてどんなにワクワクするだろうかと感じていました。今回はせっかくの機会なので、中大の皆さんが「中大一族」として盛り上げてくれたら嬉しいです。


Kigami: I experienced playing at jam-packed Hanazono Stadium in my high school days. I know my sense of tension is quite different when I’m watched by many people. We can play even better while enjoying that tension. I hope audiences will also get excited. So please come to the stadium on November 30 and pep us up!

木上 高校の時に出場した花園でも超満員の試合を経験しましたが、やはり観客が多い試合では緊張感が違います。その緊張感を味わいながら僕らも良いプレーをしますし、観客の皆さんも盛り上がってくれたらと思います。11月30日は是非秩父宮に応援に来てください!


-Chuo played four league matches with the result of two wins and two losses. How do you analyze your performance so far?



Hiyama: Yes, we suffered two losses. We had meetings later on and I think the team’s condition is improving. We still have chances to win the pennant. We will work hard to recoup our losses.

桧山 2敗はしましたが、その後のミーティングなどを経てチーム状態は上がってきています。まだまだ優勝する可能性はあるので、これから巻き返して行きたいです。


Kigami: We’ll learn from our losses and prepare well for the upcoming matches with the higher-ranking teams.

木上 この2敗を無駄にせず、これから対戦する上位校との試合に備えたいです。

-What are the strength and weakness of your team?



Hiyama: One of our strong points is that we are all lively and enjoy playing matches. Our weakness is that we can play well in the first half but often tend to lose concentration and stall in the second half. The same thing happens even in our practice matches. So we need to improve this through our practice.

桧山 中大ラグビー部は、チームの雰囲気が明るく、試合を楽しめているのが良さです。一方、試合の立ち上がりは良いのですが、試合後半になると集中が切れ、失速してしまうのを課題と感じています。練習でも、前半は良いのに後半切れてしまうことがあるので、練習から改善していきたいです。


Kogami: As Hiyama said, I think our weakness is that we can’t do what we planned to do in the second half. On the other hand, we conceded the least scores among all teams last season. I think our good point is that we take pride in being “defensive Chuo” and remain so this season.

木上 桧山と同じように、やろうとしていることが後半できなくなるところに課題を感じています。一方、昨シーズン、リーグ戦最少失点だった「ディフェンスの中央」にプライドを持ち、引き継げているのは良いと思います。


-What do you mean by “defensive Chuo”?



Hiyama: That’s what we’ve acquired from our concentrated training since last spring. For example, two or three of us put up defense against a foreign player with better physical ability. We did that by stepping up the volume of actions. A good defense gives us better chances to win. That’s why we have been playing under the slogan of “defensive Chuo”. Of course we put as much priority on the attack. In fact, mauling is one of our biggest weapons.

桧山 昨年の春から集中的に練習することで鍛えられた部分です。例えば、身体能力の高い留学生選手などに対しては、1人に対して二人、3人で当たり、その分運動量を増やすことで補ってきました。守りが良ければ当然勝てるチャンスが増えるので、「ディフェンスの中央」を掲げて取り組んできています。もちろん守備だけでなく、攻撃も重きをおいていて、モールは中大の武器の一つです。


-(To Hiyama) How do you look back at yourself as a captain?



Hiyama: I may be a bit slow starter. I became aware that I’m a captain only when the league matches began this season. My sense of responsibility grew each time the team lost. I would like to lead the team by always putting myself in the forefront and by doing more voluntary training. I wish I can lead the team with my own behavior.

桧山 少し遅いのかもしれませんが、リーグ戦が始まってからキャプテンとしての自覚が出てきました。チームが負けることで責任感が生まれてきました。自主練を率先的に行なうなど、常にチームの前に立ち続け、自分自身の振る舞いでチームを引っ張っていけたらと思っています。


-(To Kigami) You are going to play for the Ricoh Black Rums in the Top League after graduation. Tell us about your aspiration.



Kigami: Top League teams have many well-known former college players and foreign players. I want to be one of such players in the future. I am confident about my skills to take the ball and judge the situation. I think I’m rather weak in physique so that’s what I have to improve.

木上 トップリーグは大学で活躍した選手や海外の有名選手ばかりですが、その中でも名前が上がる選手になりたいです。ボールを奪うスキルや状況判断には自信がありますが、体格的な点では劣ると思うので、そこを克服していきたいです。


-Lastly, tell us about your enthusiasm toward the league matches.



Hiyama: We haven’t been doing well this season but we still have chances to get the pennant. I’ll do my best to cap my four years at Chuo with the victory. So please help our 10,000-supporter campaign and give us your encouragement. 桧山 ここまでの戦績は今ひとつですが、まだまだ優勝の可能性があるので、4年間の集大成として優勝できるよう頑張ります。1万人プロジェクトはじめ、熱い声援をよろしくお願いします。


Interviewed By: Kento Isogai, Yuhina Nakamoto & Ayako Shimata