San Diego, CA (June 20, 2006) –A jersey worn by Japan #8 Michihito Chida in an international test match against the United States is the latest jersey to be auctioned off by the United States Rugby Foundation.
Michihito Chida was playing in just his second international when Japan travelled to Torrance, CA in 1986 to take on the US. Ironically, his first cap was also against the Eagles in April, 1985. He played a total of five test matches for Japan, including one further match against the United States at the 1987 Rugby World Cup in Brisbane, Australia. His last international was against England at the ’87 RWC.
A picture of the jersey, along with a brief account of the test match between the United States and Japan from May 31, 1986 can be found on eBay, item #9744339461. The bidding will conclude at 1:00 pm (PST) on Thursday, June 29, 2006.
“The Japan jersey on offer this month is a special one to me as it was worn by my opposite in my international debut” said USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard, who is donating 10 jerseys he’s collected throughout his international career with the U.S. to be used as auction items. “Although I have to go back almost 20 years there are still parts of the match and the week leading up to the match that I can still recall quite vividly.”
The Chida jersey is the latest jersey to be auctioned by the USRF. A Dean Richards England #8 jersey was the first to be posted on eBay. That was followed by a rare green Welsh jersey worn by #8 Paul Moriarty. Eric Champ’s #6 French jersey was next on the auction block. Noel Mannion’s Ireland #8 jersey was next up followed by a #8 jersey worn by Canadian great Glenn Ennis. The Wallaby #8 jersey worn by the great Tim Gavin followed. Then came the jersey worn by former Scottish 8man, Stuart Reid, while last month’s auction featured a jersey worn at the 1991 Rugby World Cup by Italian skipper Gianni Zanon. All proceeds from the auctions benefit the USRF Ball and High School Start-Up Kit Grant Programs.
The USRF is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization established in 1963. Although its main focus is supporting youth and high school rugby, the Foundation also provides grants to coaches and referees; establishes international student exchanges and college scholarships, has assisted the United States Collegiate All-Americans and Boys Under-19 teams, and also provides grants to Safety and Risk Management Research.
For more information about the Foundation, go to its website at: www.usrugbyfoundation.org.