The Nagoya Barbarians

Rugby, or football if you prefer, is according to several scientific studies, the world’s most popular sport. There are various Japanese clubs around, which gaijin are often welcome to join and play the game – but, as anyone who has played overseas before will tell you, rugby ain’t just playing a game!

It’s about friendship, camaraderie and drinking booze with said friends.  Back in 2002, there were gaijin teams in both Tokyo and Osaka, but not Nagoya (there WAS one back in the 80s, but lets just say that their game was a bit too physical for the Aichi Rugby Union)

Founding members Biff and Simon got talking, and decided the best way to fix the problem was to make a team of their own, and thus the Nagoya Barbarians (or Babas for short) were born. By the time of the first training, there were only six players (for the rugby challenged, you need fifteen players to make a team.)

However, word spread quickly and the initial six grew into nine by the next week, then 10, then 12 and then finally enough for the Barbarians inaugural game – which was played on December 7th, 2003.

From humble beginnings playing fun games and with ranks bolstered by eikaiwa teachers, the team has, over the years, advanced from Aichi C to be the current leaders of the Aichi A League – with aspirations to advance into the Tokai League (the highest level of club rugby in this area) and fulfill a goal set when the team was first established.

The Barbarians are currently looking for new members; why not join? Living up to their ancient namesake, the Barbarians have had members from over fourteen different countries, representing nearly every major rugby playing nation and over seventy different members through the years.

Rugby with The Barbarians is a great way of getting off the couch and making friends, then going out and partying with them! It’s all about having fun!

Trainings are held twice a week: 8pm at Shirakawa Park on Mondays, and 9am at Shonai-ryokuchi Park on Sundays.

If you are interested in coming for a run, just call Biff (090-9906-8951) or Bryan (090-7300-4483). Check out the Barbarians website at:

A special thanks to the Barbarians sponsors: Shooters (and its often broken ¥21,000 bathroom glass) Jaager Buffalo, Eco Learning System and Heineken.


7 responses to “The Nagoya Barbarians

  1. Hey, I’m moving to Nagoya at the end of March this year. Was hoping to meet some new people and get back into the rugby swing. I’ve been in a few spots in the scrum, but I usually end up as a prop. Mind if I join up with you all and if so, how much of a kit should I bring?

  2. Hi Guys,
    I’m over in Nagoya on business a few times each year and am interested in finding out a little more about the club. Do you have social memberships?
    Tim W

  3. Good morning,

    I am moving from Fiji to Japan to work with cathay Pacific and I wished to join a Rugby Club so I, and my family, could play rugby, we will be in osaka in two weeks and stay there for two years. Could you let me know how we can join your rugby club?

    I used to play high school, University and club rugby in Fiji and Hong Kong, mainly in Centers.



  4. Hi there. I am an ancient Kiwi with a Japanese wife. We will be in Nagoya on the night of the 01/11. Do you have clubrooms or a bar that club members frequent. I would love to watch the semi- final of the world cup with other rugby enthusiasts. I played in my school 1st XV eons ago. Played 6 years for the Canterbury University Club in Christchurch New Zealand and am presently Patron of our local rugby club here in South Taranaki NZ.

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