ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Travel & Leisure

Japan rugby starts COVID-delayed season with big names, new aims

Push to turn World Cup glory into commercial success tested by pandemic

Michael Leitch, center, competes in a Top League rugby match during the 2020 season. This year's season kicks off on Feb. 20 after being delayed more than a month by the coronavirus pandemic.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan's premier rugby division kicks off a delayed season this weekend with teams and their corporate owners hoping to put the sport on the path to professionalism by turning post-World Cup popularity into greater commercial appeal.

Fans are delighted at the chance to see live top-level games after last season was cut short by COVID-19 and this year's opening was pushed back from Jan. 16, with more than 60 players and staff testing positive for the coronavirus.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more