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Sunwolves problems rearing their heads again

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Japanese Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves have confirmed that they have begun the search to replace current head coach Mark Hammett.

Hammett will leave the Sunwolves at the end of the Super Rugby season and will be one of the Highlanders assistant Super Rugby coaches next season.

Hammett’s departure leaves the Sunwolves in a familiar position to last year when were battling to sign players as a head coach had not been appointed.

The Sunwolves alredy know that flyhalf Tusi Pisi and Japan internationals Ayumu Goromaru and Hendrik Tui will not be playing for them next season.

Kyodo News recently reported that “not a single player or assistant coach has publicly committed to the team” and that negotiations are taking place with newly appointed Japan head coach Jamie Joseph

The Japan Rugby Union apparently wants consistency between the Brave Blossoms and the Sunwolves which is why they would be keen to have Joseph in charge of both teams.

There is concern that the Japanese Rugby Union will not act quickly enough – as they did last year – in securing a head coach which would give incoming players confidence to sign with the Asian side.

It is generallly accepted that having drawn one match and won another the Sunwolves have performed better than expected this season which is why a number of the Sunwolves players are being head-hunted by other Super Rugby franchises.

The Sunwolves also look set to have just four weeks to prepare for the 2017 Super Rugby season next year as they still use the facilities at Tatsumi Rugby Ground and will have limited to access due to the domestic Top League season.

There are also talks about how many games the players should play in a season with the corporate sides (quite rightly given they pay the wages even when the players are away on Super Rugby duty) saying their games must have priority.

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