Rikiya Matsuda, born on May 3, 1994, is a Japanese international rugby union player known for his versatility as an outside back. He has represented Japan at various levels and currently plays for the Panasonic Wild Knights.
Matsuda began his rugby journey as a student at Teikyo University in Tokyo. He showcased his skills in both the All-Japan University Rugby Championship and the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship while representing his university. After completing his studies, Matsuda made the decision to join the Panasonic Wild Knights in 2017, continuing his development at the professional level.
At the international level, Matsuda gained valuable experience representing Japan at the Under-20 level from 2012 to 2014. He participated in the World Rugby Under 20 Championships, making a total of seven appearances. His performances demonstrated his potential and contributed to Japan's development in youth rugby.
Matsuda made his senior international debut for Japan as a replacement in a match against Canada in Vancouver on June 11, 2016. He continued to make two more appearances during Japan's home tests against Scotland in the 2016 mid-year rugby union internationals. He came off the bench in the first test in Toyota and started in the second test in Tokyo, showcasing his adaptability and versatility in the backline.
After joining the Panasonic Wild Knights, Matsuda continued to excel and registered his first test try in an 80-10 victory over Korea in Tokyo on April 29, 2017. His contributions to the team's success earned him recognition and further opportunities to represent Japan.
In 2019, Matsuda was selected for Japan's Rugby World Cup squad. Throughout the tournament's pool phase, he made appearances off the bench against Russia, Samoa, and Scotland. He also played a role in Japan's historic victory against Ireland. Matsuda's test cap tally reached 24, accompanied by 39 points, as he came off the bench in Japan's first-ever Rugby World Cup quarter-final against South Africa.
While Matsuda has started in just five matches for Japan to date, his versatility and ability to contribute in various positions make him a valuable asset to the team.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Matsuda has been named in the training squad for Japan.
|2016 - present|
|Saitama Wild Knights
|2017 - present|
|2023 - present|
|2017 - 2022|