Iroha Kishimoto: From Tokyo to the Brumbies front row

Tue, Apr 2, 2024, 5:30 AM
Iroha Kishimoto at Brumbies training before her win against the Reds.
Iroha Kishimoto at Brumbies training before her win against the Reds.

Iroha Kishimoto packed her bags for her first Australian trip to take part in a short tour with the Tokyo Phoenix, then never went home after Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies coach Scott Fava made a surprise call to the Japanese international asking her to join his side.

A surreal moment for the new recruit as she was already familiar with the Brumbies team and their rich history, Kishmoto says she was lost for words but extremely excited by the opportunity to join a Super Rugby Women's team.

Despite being such a big decision to remain in a foreign country without her Phoenix teammates the prop says she did not hesitate when offered the chance to join the side from the capital.

"To play rugby overseas is my dream so I had no choice, I had to stay," said Kishitmoto.

Using her impromptu holiday to its fullest, the internationally capped prop is eager to push her game to new heights during her time down under as her goals all remain on the rugby field.

"The Australian girls are bigger than the Japanese ones, so I want to compete against them as much as possible and make the scrums my strength when I return to Japan," said Kishimoto.

Iroha Kishimoto

Upon arriving at the Brumbies, much to her surprise Iroha was reunited with an old teammate in Tokyo through Kolora Lomani also being in the squad. Meeting again in an unexpected way, Kishitmoto has certainly made the most of it, as she says the Fijian international helped her settle into the club by having a familiar face to show her the ropes.

Clearly not suffering from homesickness, Kishimoto's first thought when asked if she misses home is just the local cuisine. Then as an afterthought the prop giggled as she mentioned her family who still closely critique her on-field performances from almost 8000 kilometres away.

"She says, you can do more," Kishimoto laughed as she tells of her mother's scathing Super Rugby Women's match reviews.

Outside of rugby, Iroha has two burning passions of design and hiking. Working as a clothes designer, creativity is certainly her strong suit as she also uses her skills to learn more about producing social media content during her time in Australia. Hiking is also an outlet for her as despite being fresh to Canberra she has already taken on the climb up Mount Ainslie as she looks for more tracks to enjoy around the capital.

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