Barça Rugby continue the first tour in their history in the Japanese city of Kobe. On Thursday morning the squad made a trip to see the Kobelco Steelers, the Japanese Top League champions, and their training facilities where Sergo González's team will be based until the end of the tour.
The day began with an official photograph in which the Barça Rugby representatives, led by FC Barcelona board director responsible for Amateur Sport Oriol Tomás, awarded a Barça shirt to Masayuki Fukumato (Kobelco Steelers General Manager) and Fuji Takayuki Kobelco Steelers Team Manager). Tomás was accompanied FC Barcelona social commission member responsible for Amateur Sports, Jaume Carreter, social commission member responsible for rugby Santi Torres and by the first team coaching staff in the form of Sergi Guerrero and Felipe Martínez.
During the visit the Barça representatives were able to the see the training facilities for a top side like the Steelers. Coaches Sergi Guerrero and Felipe Mártinez also had an informal chat with their coaching counterparts to share their ideas on rugby in their respective countries and the sporting plans for the future for both teams.
Later, the Barça coaches were able to have a brief meeting with the Director General of Kobelco Steelers, Wayne Smith, a former New Zealand test player and coach as he cast his expert eye over the squad's morning training session.
Barça also were able to watch the local side's training session as they prepare for the League Cup semi final on 4 August against Suntory Sungoliath (a replace of the league final from last season.)
Before the session both teams posed for a group photo during which Barça captain Bautista Güemes presented a gift to his opposite number and former All Black Andrew Ellis.