8
Matches
22
Points Scored
7
Tries Scored
0
Penalties Scored
0
Conversions
0
Drop Goals Scored

Yoshihiro Sakata, nicknamed Demi by New Zealanders for his small stature, was the first Japanese player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

During his time in the national team between 1967 and 1973, Japan played 38 matches against international opposition. The JRFU awarded caps for 18 of these matches and he played in 16 of them, scoring 13 tries.

While on the all-Japan tour of New Zealand in 1968 the elusive winger memorably received a standing ovation from the Wellington crowd after bagging the third of his four tries against the Junior All Blacks. Sakata went on to grab the attention of the Canterbury province, scoring 30 tries in 27 matches in New Zealand and representing the New Zealand Barbarians during a six-month stay in the country.

Domestically, Sakata won multiple championship titles with Doshisha University and Kintetsu RFC, and since his retirement has held high level coaching and administrative roles.

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