The Wallabies and Australian Sevens teams will use Odawara, Japan as their training base for the next three years for their matches in the country.
With key matches and tournaments to be played in Japan in 2018, 2019, and 2020, Rugby Australia issued an expression of interest to the Japanese market in late 2017 to establish an Australian Rugby training base in the country and Odawara was chosen for location, commitment, and quality of facilities.
Odawara, which is located an hour south of Tokyo and Yokohama by car, or 35 minutes by bullet train. The region was selected due its superior facilities and accommodation options, coupled with a strong local government commitment and support from the local community.
The arrangement provides Australia’s national teams with access to the Shiroyama Athletic Field and Hilton Odawara Resort which is equipped with elite-level gym facilities.
The Wallabies will be the first team on site when they converge on Odawara for a training week prior to their third and final Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand at Yokohama on October 27. The facilities will also be available for the Wallabies for any time spent in Japan prior to the official commencement of Rugby World Cup 2019.
The Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams will initially use the facilities for pre-Olympic training camps in 2019.
“We wanted to secure a home away from home in Japan for our Qantas Wallabies and Sevens teams and Odawara was a standout submission after we fielded strong interest from across the country.
“The Odawara community has embraced our teams and there is a high level of support for Rugby and the Wallabies in the region. In Odawara, we also have a very committed and accommodating local government partner and we look forward to establishing a great friendship with the people of Odawara over the coming years.”