Isileli Nakajima

Isileli Nakajima Vakauta (born 9 July 1989) is a Tongan-born Japanese rugby union player who generally plays as a prop represents Japan internationally and plays for Kobelco Steelers in the Japanese Top League.[1][2][3]

Isileli Nakajima
Isileli Nakajima in action during the Pool A match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup between Japan and Russia
Full nameIsileli Nakajima Vakauta
Date of birth (1989-07-09) 9 July 1989
Place of birthVaiola, Tonga
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight120 kg (18 st 13 lb; 265 lb)
UniversityRyutsu Keizai University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Prop
Current team Kobelco Steelers
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2018-present Kobelco Steelers ()
Correct as of 8 September 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2018-present Japan 8 (0)
Correct as of 20 October 2019

Isileli Nakajima made his international debut for Japan against New Zealand on 3 November 2018.[4] He was included in the Japanese squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup which is currently held in Japan for the first time and for the first time in Asia.[5][6][7]

Nakajima was a teenager when he moved to Japan after he was scouted by a Japanese university coach. Nakajima chose to take his wife's surname partly in defiance of the patriarchal norms of his home country but also out of respect and love for his wife and his adopted home.[8]


  1. "Isileli Nakajima". ESPN scrum. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  2. "Rugby - Player statistics - club stats". Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  3. "Isileli Nakajima". Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  4. "Japan v New Zealand". ESPN scrum. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  5. "Japan Training Squad for Rugby World Cup 2019". Japan Rugby Football Union. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  6. "Thompson set for fourth Rugby World Cup". Rugby World Cup. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  7. "Hosts Japan Name Rugby World Cup Squad". Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  8. "Isileli Nakajima – the Tongan powerhouse in Japan's Rugby World Cup team". Tagata Pasifika. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
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