February 07, 2024

Chiefs sign MoU with Mie Pearls

The Chiefs Rugby Club have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chiefs Manawa and Mie Womens Rugby Club Pearls to assist with developing women’s rugby in New Zealand and Japan.

The Chiefs were motivated to cement international connections in the women’s rugby space, and their existing ties with the Kobelco Kobe Steelers made it appealing to build further relationships in Japan.

These relationships will operate alongside the existing MoU that New Zealand Rugby and Japan Rugby Football Union recently established, which currently sees the Gallagher Chiefs playing two pre-season matches in Tokyo.

Chiefs CEO Simon Graafhuis has utilised the opportunity of being in Japan for the Cross Border Rugby pre-season to foster this relationship with the Mie Pearls.

“It is great to announce an MoU to explore opportunities between the Chiefs Manawa and the Mie Pearls, who are an impressive club in the women’s game in Japan. We are fortunate to have a connection through current Chiefs Manawa Head Coach Crystal Kaua, who coached the Mie Pearls, and Seina Saito who has joined us for the 2024 season.

“We have been able to host key Mie Pearls representatives in New Zealand, and while in Japan, have had the privilege of seeing the Mie Pearls facilities and experiencing a very welcoming and unique experience.”

This MoU will allow both clubs to explore opportunities that enhance the game for players, coaches and management through the sharing of knowledge and resources.

Mie Pearls General Manager Hisashi Saito said: “We are very honoured to be able to form a partnership with the Chiefs, a powerful club in New Zealand.

“This is the first time in history that a Japanese women's club has entered into such a partnership with a New Zealand Super Rugby Aupiki team, and we are confident that it will be of great value.

“I have high hopes that the exchange between the two clubs will contribute to increasing the value of women's rugby and raising the level of competition around the world.”

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Chiefs sign MoU with Mie Pearls