Sunwolves

Japan’s Sunwolves will be ready for Super Rugby

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SANZAR’s newly-appointed CEO Andy Marinos has insisted that Japan’s new Super
Rugby team the Sunwolves will be ready for the upcoming season.

Japan won the bid for the Asian Super Rugby franchise when the tournament expands
next year from 15 to 18 teams and the team is known as the Sunwolves.

Former Japan coach was the Sunwolves Director of Rugby but he resigned to become
Stormers coach and then left that position to become England head coach.

It is understood that Fiji coach John McKee was offered the position of Sunwolves
head coach but he declined which leaves the new Super Rugby team without a coach
less than three months before kick off.

The Sunwolves have not disclosed their list of players and there are concerns
about the quality they will be able to field as several Japan internationals
have opted to play for rival teams.

However new SANZAR CEO Marinos says that he is “100 percent confident”
the Sunwolves would be ready for Super Rugby.

“They have contracted a core group of around 24 to 25 Japanese players,” Marinos
told Reuters.

“We expect they will finalise their coach in the next week or two.”

“And there are obviously a few players who are waiting to understand
who that coach is before they commit. We expect to see a lot more traction in
the next week or two.”

The Sunwolves will play some of their home games in Japan and some in Singapore
but will make their Super Rugby debut against South Africa’s Lions in
Tokyo on Feb. 27.

Marinos said that it would be wrong to write the Sunwolves off at this early
stage.

“What we have seen over the last 20 years is that surprise teams come
up and what would be considered strong teams, for whatever reasons, don’t
really hit the highs that you want,” he said.

“But overall, the standard has been of an acceptable level … I
have no doubt that anyone of those teams that don’t start the season off
well will have a huge upset at some stage.”

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