Toshiaki Hirose

Toshiaki Hirose (廣瀬俊朗, Hirose Toshiaki, born October 17, 1981 in Osaka) is former Japanese rugby union player who played as a wing or fly half, and captained the national team between 2012 and 2013.

Toshiaki Hirose
Date of birth (1981-10-17) October 17, 1981
Place of birthOsaka, Japan
Height173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight82 kg (12 st 13 lb; 181 lb)
SchoolKitano High School
UniversityKeio University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing, Fly-half
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004–2016 Toshiba Brave Lupus 143 (307)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2007–2015 Japan 28 (55)
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps

After becoming a regular starter for Toshiba Brave Lupus in the Top League, Hirose made his debut for Japan in 2007 against Hong Kong at fly-half scoring 2 tries, but never featured again under coach John Kirwan. He continued to be a key player at domestic level though, captaining Toshiba Brave Lupus to back to back Top League victories in 2009 and 2010.

In 2012, 5 years from his debut, he was recalled and named captain of the Japan national rugby union team by new coach, Eddie Jones. He by now had converted from fly-half to wing, and later that year led them to their first ever away wins in Europe against Romania and Georgia. He was also infamously on the receiving end of a rant by Jones after a loss to the French Barbarians in June.[1][2]

Hirose continued as captain in 2013, leading Japan to their first ever victory over Wales, but was dropped in 2014 with his place coming under increasing pressure from new caps Akihito Yamada and Kotaro Matsushima, and Jones citing a lack of pace. From there onwards he became a bit part player at international level with his remaining caps all coming off the bench as a utility player who could cover both fly-half and wing.

He was retained for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with his leadership skills praised by Jones, but was the only player in the 31 man squad not to make the field in the tournament, and following a final season with Toshiba Brave Lupus decided to retire.


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