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Japan’s Taku Lee and Tomoya Machino advance to CFL Combine

OSAKA, Japan — Running back Taku Lee and offensive lineman Tomoya Machino have become the first Japanese players to be extended invitations to showcase their skills for Canadian Football League (CFL) general managers, coaches and scouts at the CFL Combine in Toronto from March 26-28. Players from across Japan gathered in Tokyo and Osaka – two of the country’s largest cities – to take part in the weekend’s back-to-back CFL Global Combines, conducted in partnership with Japan’s National Football Association (NFA).

“We’re grateful to our incredible hosts at the NFA for coordinating and managing two great events in two days,” said CFL Chief Financial Officer and Head of Football Operations, Greg Dick. “We couldn’t have hoped for better-executed combines and we look forward to seeing Taku and Tomoya in Toronto.”

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Japanese offensive lineman Tomoya Machino is one of two players selected to take part in the CFL’s combine in Toronto. Kyle Scott/CFL.ca

“As part of this historic moment in Japanese football, we would like to thank our partners at the CFL for their efforts in implementing this combine,” added Riichiro Fukahori, Commissioner of the NFA.

“Just one year ago, we could not have imagined this would happen – many Japanese football fans are now eagerly anticipating the day when we will have the first player from our country playing in the CFL.

“As members of the International Alliance of Gridiron Football, we are honoured to contribute to the worldwide development of the sport by strengthening our partnership with the CFL.”

During the 2019 season, CFL rosters featured, for the first time ever, one designated ‘global player’ from outside the U.S. and Canada on each team’s active roster and as many as two more on their practice rosters. In 2020, the number of global players per team will increase to two on the active roster and up-to-three on the practice roster, with as many as 45 global players competing in the league.

The full list of global players invited to Toronto will be announced following the completion of the 10 Global Combines. The 2020 CFL Global Draft is slated for April 16.

EARLY GLOBAL PLAYER INVITEES TO THE CFL COMBINE

Global Combine

Players

Finland

Micky Kyei
Sebastien Sagne

Sweden

William James

France

Tony Anderson
Anthony Mahoungou

Italy

Lorenzo Dalle Piagge

Great Britain

David Izinyon

Germany

Sven Breidenbach
Niklas Liesen

Japan

Taku Lee
Tomoya Machino

CFL GLOBAL COMBINE SCHEDULE

Date

Location

February 29

Copenhagen, Denmark

March 15

Mexico City, Mexico