Sunwolves Super Rugby



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Sunwolves Super Rugby History

Sunwolves Super Rugby History

The Sunwolves are a Japanese Super Rugby team – currently known as the HITO-Communications Sunwolves for sponsorship reasons – who play matches their home matches in Tokyo and Singapore.

The Sunwolves have been included in Super Rugby from 2016 and will represent Asia in the South African Group.

In 2013, then SANZAR CEO Greg Peters announced that Super Rugby would be expanded from the 2016 season onwards, adding that South African franchise the Kings would be one of the expansion teams. In early 2014, SANZAR confirmed that Super Rugby would be increased from 15 to 18 teams starting from the 2016 season, with Argentine side Jaguares getting one of the additional spots.

Asia emerged as the preferred destination for the final license and Japan and Singapore emerged as the main contenders to get the franchise. With a number of factors counting in Japan’s favour – such as their domestic professional league (the Top League) increasingly being able to attract big-name foreign players, the country being awarded the hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Japanese national team breaking into the top ten of the World Rugby rankings for the first time in their history in 2014[8] – they were subsequently granted the license for the 18th franchise in October 2014– with an agreement reached that Singapore would host three of their home matches each season at the Singapore Sports Hub.

The new expanded format and three new teams were formally approved by the SANZAR Executive Committee in November 2014.

In April 2015, the JRFU established a corporation called Japan Super Rugby Association that would manage the operations of the team. A number of key appointments were also made; Yoshitaka Tashiro was appointed as chairman, Yuichi Ueno as the CEO and on the playing side, the Japan national team’s head coach Eddie Jones was appointed as the Director of Rugby for the team.

In May 2015, a website was launched to ask fans for team name suggestions. This was initially scheduled to be revealed at the end of July 2015, before being postponed to August On 5 October 2015, it was announced that the team would be known as the Sunwolves. This name was chosen from 3,320 entries and is a combination of the “Land of the Rising Sun” and the wolf, which was chosen to represent bravery, strength and an ethos of teamwork. The team’s logo was also launched on the same date, as was the team’s slogan “Break the Line”.

The Sunwolves first ever Super Rugby match will be against the Lions at home in Tokyo.


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