The event of the year, the women's rugby World Cup, stages its final at Cardiff rugby club tomorrow.
Japan will not contest it but they are unquestionably the team of the tournament. They have played three matches without scoring a point: they conceded 62 points to France, 37 to Sweden and 30 to Spain. They have carried off these defeats with style.
Every single time a try has been scored against them, they have performed a sporting bow to the scorer. After every game, each Japanese player has sought out her opposite number and presented her with a small gift of an origami something-or-other. All members of the team play in scrum-caps: the stand-off half plays with hers tucked into the back of her shorts. I trust all these innovations will be adopted by the All Blacks for the lesser event, the men's rugby World Cup, this autumn.
Copyright (C) The Times, 1991
"Japanese salute; Rugby Union." Times [London, England] 13 Apr. 1991