Have you ever Played Oztag? Oztag is a form of touch rugby that comes from Australia. Today I spoke to Naomi Yakushiji about the benefits of playing the game. Naomi is an English and P.E. teacher from Ireland who also plays rugby. Here’s our interview.

First of all, thank you for joining me today.
Of course, no problem.

When did you come to Japan?
I came to Japan last year in August. So, I have been here for just over one year.

And you play rugby, don’t you?
Yes, I do.

How long have you played rugby?
Well, I played rugby for one year in Dubai before coming to Japan. And I have been playing since I came to Japan.

Which position do you play?
I’m usually a winger. I mostly played rugby sevens and was a winger there.

Have you played much rugby since coming to Japan?
Yes, I usually play once a week with various teams. But recently, I am busy with work, so I try to play when I can.

I see. You told me before that you are now playing Oztag. How did that come about?
One Saturday, I went to a training session in Tokyo and saw some people playing Oztag. I asked them if I could join, and they let me. I’ve been playing with them ever since.

So, why did you want to join in?
Because I love playing rugby and wanted to get involved as much as possible. Not only that, there was no women’s rugby team, and they were playing in mixed teams —men and women together.

Are you still playing in mixed teams?
Yes, Oztag is usually played in mixed teams.

Great! So, what are the benefits of playing Oztag?
First of all, Oztag is non–contact. So, it’s great for people who are scared of contact. It’s also played in mixed teams, so the pace of the game often changes, which is very interesting. Finally, there is only tagging and no tackling, so it’s a quick game. It’s very good.

And you’re playing that once a week?
Yes, once a week—when I can.

Would you recommend Oztag to anyone who plays rugby?
If you want to try rugby but are scared of full contact, then Oztag is the game for you.

How about experienced rugby players?
Experienced rugby players might miss the full contact. That said, if you want to improve your fitness, ball skills and passing skills, then Oztag is great.

Fantastic! Thank you very much for your time.
No worries!

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