Willie, like alot of Kiwis working in Sapporo
as ELT teachers, joined the club to enjoy some running
rugby with the Barbarians club whenever the weather
and occasion suited. Willlie played for the club
for 2 seasons, usually in the backs for the B Team
where he always looked to run the ball in the true
Now a High School teacher at Whangarei BHS.
Unfortunately this wasn't my first or last yellow
card for the Barbars...due mainly to the fact that
it took my swede for a head a few years to realise
that good old Southland rucking was a penalty offense
in Japan! By the end of my eight year stint, I was
able to stay on the field for most of the 80 minutes....though
the body wasn't keeping up with the young fellas
by then! Now the Over 35 team is in my sights.
Barbars were, are and will be good times for any
ex pats keen to make a go at Japanese club level
rugby and living in Japan in general.
With the new grounds and clubhouse, things have
become more organised and the motivation and energy
levels of all involved will help the club become
even more of a rugby force in the years to come.
Speaking for myself, I wouldn't have stayed in Japan
as long as I have if it hadn't been for the Barbarians.
I originally came to the Barbarians with an intended
stay of one year but the more I stayed the more
I enjoyed both the lifestyle of Sapporo and the
Barbarian club`s rugby and it`s people. I continued
on for 6 seasons and after a 5 year period away
from Japan I have returned again, for more.
During my time from 1998 to 2004 here I truely had
the time of my life, both on and off the field.
Played with a great bunch of blokes all aged about
the same age and who were determined to acheive
as a team, we trained and played hard but our closeness
and fun we had off the field is what really brought
the results I think.
So much going on in the city too away from rugby,
whether it`s a festival or the ski season, beer
garden or an izakaya or snack bar in Susukino, a
great part of the country is Sapporo. My favourite
rugby memory here is watching our 50kg left wing
whippet Hiratsuka receive the ball on his own 10
metre line and then sprint, glide, shimmy and swerve
his way through the Tamariva team to score in the
corner and win us the East Japan Final in 2002.
An amazing effort from the little buggar.
August was the first invited player to don the
red and black jersey with true international experience,
and it showed.
Having played for Samoa against England, Scotland
and Argentina and with Christain Cullen and Ronan
O`Gara at Munster you could say he had enough ability
to warrant a Barbars starting position.
Gus is the cornerstone of the backline, extremely
strong on his feet who makes break after break in
The best way to describe his defensive ability would
be to look at the statistics on how many times zambucks
were called on to the field this season. Unfortuntely
most of the wounded could not be healed with water
from the kettle and indeed many an opposition player
was stretchered off with a leg or a loose limb always
hanging limply over the "tanka".
Intends to stick around in Sapporo for awhile, the
lifestyle, food, rugby and off-field possibilites
agree with him.
A fantastic asset to the club.