Super 14 Rugby

Japan could field a “Super” team : Nathan Grey


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Former Waratahs midfielder Nathan Grey believes Japan could field a competitive team in an expanded Super rugby tournament.

Grey still holds the NSW (94) record of caps for a centre plays in Japan and has just completed his third season with Japanese club Kyuden Voltex.

Australian Rugby Union boss John O’Neill is keen for Japan to field a team in an expanded Super competition albeit at the expense of non Australian tournaments like the Currie Cup and the Air new Zealand Cup (NPC).

Several overseas players are already playing their game in Japan and Grey says that he feels a composite team of home grown and foreign talent could form a very competitive Japanese Super rugby club.

His major concern was the off-field structure and support for a franchise.

“The makeup of it is the crucial thing, how they structure it and how they fund it,” Grey told AAP.

“I think if SANZAR really get behind it and impose it on the Japanese rugby union, then it’s going to be something that could work.

“You’ve got a good base of foreigners over there if you make it a composite side.

“There’s some great Japanese players over there and with a little bit more grunt and a little more experience in terms of playing at this level, you’d have a really competitive side.”

Grey pointed out that SANZAR would need to make sure the companies who ran the major rugby teams in Japan would release their players for the Super tournament should it be expanded.

He does however have little doubt that Super rugby would be a major attraction in Japan.

“You’d certainly get great crowds in terms of Super 14 franchises going over there and playing. You’d get full stadia.”


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