England star Marcus Smith ordered to cover up tattoos this summer - Ruck

England star Marcus Smith ordered to cover up tattoos this summer

As England’s rugby squad, including notable player Marcus Smith, prepares for their summer visit to Japan, they will be adhering to local customs by covering their tattoos.

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In Japan, despite the rising trend of fashion tattoos, many still associate body ink with the yakuza, the country’s infamous crime syndicates. This cultural perception necessitates discretion in certain public spaces.

The players have been advised to cover up their tattoos in onsen hot springs, hotel lobbies, and other areas where they might interact with the general public.


This measure echoes the advice given by World Rugby ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, when both players and supporters were urged to keep their tattoos hidden in gyms and pools to avoid causing offence.

However, these guidelines do not apply during the matches themselves.

Areas Where Tattoos Are Still Banned in Japan

Even though tattoos are legal in Japan, those with visible ink – both locals and tourists – frequently encounter restrictions in public spaces. Establishments where tattoos are often prohibited include:

  • Bathing houses
  • Beaches
  • Gyms
  • Hot springs
  • Pools

For anyone with tattoos, it is advisable to cover them when possible. Historically, business owners could easily refuse service to tattooed individuals, but with the increasing number of tattooed travelers and residents, such refusals are becoming more challenging and often invite public criticism.

Understanding Japanese business etiquette can provide better insights into what to expect in establishments with tattoo bans.

Louis Rees-Zammit’s dating history:

After an intensive 10-week training program, Rees-Zammit signed with the Chiefs and is now eyeing a spot on the final 53-man roster. His rise in the sporting world has been meteoric, capturing the attention of fans and media alike.

But it’s not just his professional life making headlines. Rees-Zammit’s personal life has also been a hot topic, featuring relationships with high-profile personalities, from a Premier League legend’s daughter to a famous YouTuber and a notable model/DJ.

Alicia Scholes

In December 2019, before his international debut for Wales, Rees-Zammit posted a photo of himself playing for Gloucester. Alicia Scholes, daughter of football legend Paul Scholes, humorously suggested an England debut was imminent, despite Rees-Zammit’s Welsh roots. He firmly replied, “Wales*”.

In a BBC interview, Rees-Zammit spoke about his past relationship with Alicia, a professional netball player for London Pulse. He revealed the light-hearted attempts by her father to sway him towards England, which he steadfastly resisted.

Alicia and her father Paul found themselves in the spotlight in 2021 due to a viral video that led to playful banter among rival supporters.