On one infamous occasion, after we lost to the French Barbarians in 2012, I let them have it. During the media conference after the game, my captain Toshiaki Hirose had smiled and laughed in answer to a question. I know Japanese people often laugh when they are extremely anxious, but this response gave me a chance to ram home the point. My anger was genuine and, unlike most of my media performances, unscripted. ‘It’s not funny,’ I snapped. ‘It’s not funny. They just don’t want to win enough. They don’t want to change enough. I’m going to have to change the players…’

When I calmed down, I wondered whether I might have overstepped the Japanese cultural mark. But the chairman of the Japan Rugby Football Union spoke to me afterwards: ‘It’s about time someone said that.’


infamous: 不名誉な。
occasion: 機会、場面。
let them have it: 自分で受け止めさせた。考えさせた。
extremely: 非常に。
anxious: 心配な。
response: 質問に対する答え。
ram home the point: 十分に問題点を分からせる。十分に会得させる。
genuine: 偽りなく心からの。
unscripted: 自然な反応。台本なしの。正直な。
snap: きつく言い返す。きつく言う。
calm down: 落ち着く。
wonder: かと思う。
overstepped: 境界を越える。
overstepped the Japanese cultural mark. 日本の文化的な許容限度・許容線を越える。
about time someone said that: 誰かがそれを言わなければならない時だった。

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