When Japan shocked South Africa on the opening weekend of the Rugby World Cup, Wallabies flanker Scott Fardy enjoyed it a bit more than most.
Japan is where Scott Fardy was ahead of the 2011 World Cup, part of three seasons playing for the Kamaishi Seawaves, though it wasn’t rugby on his mind.
In March of that year, the country was hit by an earthquake and then a five-metre tsunami and the small village of Kamaishi was one of the worst hit.
Instead of accepting an offer from the Australian Embassy to return home, Fardy remained to help the town recover.
Looking back, the 31-year-old plays down his role, taking the view he was lucky to be in a position to help.
“It’s something people talk about a lot but I say all the time I never really suffered in any, way shape or form,” he said.
“I was just there at the time and had to make a decision to stay and help.
“People that I hang round with, any guy in this team would have made the same decision.”
After three seasons in Kamaishi with the Seawaves, Fardy returned home but his connection with Japan is still strong.
Fans from Kamaishi grabbed photos after their win over Wales, he is still in touch with many ex-teammates and he was not surprised by the result that ignited the Rugby World Cup.
“That’s galvanized the World Cup,” he said.
“I think everyone was really excited for that win and it was an amazing game to watch.
“I knew they’d be better than what they have been.
“I knew the work they’d been putting in, I knew the staff they had behind them were quality.
“To win three games and not make it through is really unlucky.
“I’m sure they’ll make it through in their home World Cup next time.”
Fardy’s pragmatic approach to life is reflected in his rugby, the third prong of a much-watched back row.
Working alongside David Pocock and Michael Hooper, Fardy has been happy to be the third wheel, playing rugby as best he can.
As the tournament has gone on, his consistency has won him many admirers but he isn’t fazed where he sits in the public’s mind.
“I’m not interested in that element,” he said.
“I prefer to be in the shadows, to be honest.
“I’m just there to help out the other guys, the really good performers like the Hoopers and the Pococks and the (Kane) Douglases.
“Hopefully I just help them be better players, do little things to help them perform to what they can.
“That’s my role in the side and hopefully I can help them there.”