Wrestling with the future of rugby in Mongolia
What do you know about sumo?
When future Brave Blossoms captain Michael Leitch first arrived in Japan as a 15-year-old, he thought he had a general idea. But then he started clocking who was winning top tournaments and the seedling of an idea lodged in his brain. Today, he is taking action.
He tells Rugby World: “When I first came over here, I realised that all the top sumo wrestlers in Japan were actually Mongolian. And I thought that was fascinating.
“They could all speak perfect Japanese. So I looked into the background story and a lot of them were scouted in childhood – like 15 or 16 – and were taken into what you’d call a sumo camp or stable. They just trained and trained and trained and became these top sumo wrestlers.
“And these guys are massive, you know. They’re huge guys. So I thought, if you could get one of these guys to play rugby, that’d be awesome. In…