In a show of respect, players from Japan’s national rugby team bowed to their fans after failing to advance to the next round at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Rugby teams in Japan have made it a routine to address their fans with a bow at the end of a match, and the Brave Blossoms is no exception.
In 2019, during the last Rugby World Cup in Japan, the Brave Blossoms went viral for bowing to fans after its historic win against Scotland, which allow the team to qualify for its first World Cup quarter-final.
Their actions inspired the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, to do the same.
“It’s really important for us to connect as much as we can with the Japanese people. We know that they love us as All Blacks, but we need to show a bit of love back to them,” then-All Blacks captain Kieran Read said.
Teams from other countries, including Ireland, Italy, Namibia and Samoa, also joined the trend.
“From our point of view, that’s Japanese culture and that’s how the game is played here. That’s how the respect is shown to the crowd. We’re going to follow suit,” US rugby coach, Gary Gold, said in 2019.
This year, despite the competition held outside of Japan, the Brave Blossoms continued the tradition.
On Sunday Oct. 8, Japan faced Argentina for a spot at quarter-finals.
After a thrilling match in front of a sold-out crowd, Argentina came out victorious, ending Japan’s dreams of advancing to the quarter-finals once again.
Without missing a beat, the Brave Blossoms players bowed to their fans, thanking them for their support.
Hundreds of fans praised them for their conduct and congratulated them for their hard work.