Keita Inagaki, born on June 2, 1990, in Niigata, is a Japanese rugby union player renowned for his role as a prop. Throughout his career, he has represented various teams, including the Sunwolves in the international Super Rugby competition, the Melbourne Rebels in Australia, and the Panasonic Wild Knights in the Japanese Top League.
Inagaki's professional journey began with the Panasonic Wild Knights, where he experienced immediate success by clinching the Top League title in his first two seasons. His exceptional performances earned him recognition as part of the Top League Team of the Year for the 2014-15 season.
Due to his remarkable impact, the Melbourne Rebels signed him as a concessional signing for the 2015 Super Rugby season when injuries affected their Japanese players Shota Horie and Male Sa'u.
On the international stage, Inagaki made his official test debut for Japan against Romania in Bucharest on November 15, 2014, and won his second cap a week later against Georgia in Tbilisi.
He played a crucial role in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, featuring in all five of Japan's matches, including their historic upset over South Africa with a score of 34-32 in Brighton. Although Japan finished the tournament with three wins out of five games, they fell short of reaching the quarterfinals.
Inagaki was once again selected for Japan's squad in the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan. He played in every match, helping Japan secure their first-ever quarterfinal appearance, although they suffered a defeat against eventual champions South Africa with a score of 26-3. Inagaki scored his first test try during Japan's pool match against Scotland, contributing to their 28-21 victory.
Known for his power and prowess as a loosehead prop, Keita Inagaki has made significant contributions to Japanese rugby. His impressive performances in both domestic and international competitions have earned him recognition and respect among his peers and fans alike.
With a total of 34 test caps and one try to his name, Inagaki's dedication and talent continue to make him a formidable force on the rugby field.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Inagaki has been named in the training squad for Japan.
|Saitama Wild Knights
|2013 - present|
|2014 - present|
|2023 - present|
|2015 - 2015|
|2015 - 2022|