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Tatekawa learning the Brumbies ways in Canberra

Harumichi Tatekawa has arrived in Canberra and is with the Brumbies

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Article Published: Friday 24 January 2014






Brumbies new recruit Harumichi Tatekawa is settling in with the Brumbies and learning their structures and the language.

Tatekawa is the first Asian recruit in Brumbies history and he is confident that he can overcome the language barrier and set a trend of Japanese players joining Super Rugby.

Tatekawa will have almost no time at all to settle into his new home as the Brumbies plan on throwing him straight into action as he is expected to play in their first pre-season trial against the Highlanders next week.

One of Tatekawa's greatest challenges is understanding his team-mates and the Brumbies coaches as he speaks minimal English.

The Japanese playmaker is in Canberra with his Kubota backs coach Taishi Furukawa who doubles as his translator.

Off-filed communication is minimal but Stephen Larkham insists "rugby has its own language".

"We've got to get our structures in his head, but he's super keen to get in there," Larkham told The Canberra Times.

"He's a playmaker ... it's positive the way he's responded and by the end of the week he'll be more up to speed. Rugby has its own language, we speak in a different lingo here."

Former Wallabies, Brumbies and Reds coach Eddie Jones as well as Wallabies great Toutai Kefu have both backed the twenty-four-yearold to make a successful transition to Australian Rugby.

On Thursday this week Tatekawa met Larkham for a crash course in the Brumbies structures and plays.

Tatekawa can play at five-eighth and inside-centre and his first match for the Brumbies will be against the Highlanders in Queenstown on January the 31st.

His translator Furukawa will fly back to Japan on Sunday which leaves Brumbies and Wallabies forward Scott Fardy as one of the only player who can speak Japanese.

The language barrier does not faze Tatekawa and he wants to pave the way for more Japanese players to join Super Rugby franchises.

"This isn't just a one-year plan, this is a three- or four-year plan for me and this is the first try," Tatekawa said through Furukawa.

"I want to improve the Japanese rugby level, to take it higher. The language barrier is a big challenge for me."

"Communication is a vital skill, my English has to improve. Eddie (Jones) said to take on the challenge and then (go) back to Japan (as a better player)."

Former Wallabies No.8 is now the Kubota coach and backs coach Furukawa has been giving Tatekawa help with settling in.

Tatekawa has won 20 caps for Japan so far and he has been likened to a Japanese Matt Toomua.

Wallabies forward Fardy spent three years playing in Japan rugby before he joined the Brumbies in 2012.

"They love rugby in Japan and there are quality players, it's good Haru is getting a chance and we need to develop the game globally," he said.

"In rugby, a lot of the terms we use are the same, so he should pick it up pretty quickly."

"Communication is always going to be hard and the physicality is different. But Haru looks at home already and he's a big boy as well."

 
 
 
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