Sunwolves Dream Team

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By Lee Watkins Despite the Sunwolves losing all of their matches this season due to player injuries, withdrawals, and mistakes on the pitch, there has also been enough promise in their performances to warrant some optimism. We sat down with the Kyodo news journalist, Rich Freeman, and came up with our Top 15 Sunwolves’ players based on the 56 men they have at their disposal. 15. (Fullback) Shota Emi or Kotaro Matsushima Lee: “Judging on performances this season and judging on the … [Read more...]

Positive Signs from Sunwolves

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The Sunwolves may have lost their third straight game in this year's Super Rugby competition but it was a much improved performance from Filo Tiatia's team against the Cheetahs. Here are highlights of the game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21TiQxhBvZI Here is Kyodo News' take. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/03/463149.html One of South Africa's top rugby journos, Brenden Nel, was at the press conference and kindly allowed us to use these … [Read more...]

Tough Start for Sunwolves

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(photos provided by Inside Sport Japan) The Sunwolves have endured a tough start to their second season. Following a less than impressive warm-up game against the Top League All-Stars, the Sunwolves were hammered by defending champions the Hurricanes in their season opener. They then travelled to Singapore where they were beaten by the Kings. Kyodo News was there to cover all the action and Inside Sports Japan were there to take some photos at … [Read more...]

Sunwolves Preview 2017

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Rugby News Japan wrote the following Sunwolves preview for Inside Sports Japan.  Photos from Inside Sports Japan. The Sunwolves kick off their second season of Super Rugby on Saturday with a home game against the defending champions from New Zealand, the Hurricanes. Japan's Super Rugby side approach the new semester with a new head coach, a much bigger squad and a belief they can do better than their debut season on the competition when they finished with one win, one draw and 13 … [Read more...]

Sunwolves Rising as One

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The Sunwolves announced their squad for 2017 this week. RNJ guest writer Jay Collins gives a rundown of the players, while John Gunning from Inside Sport: Japan was there with his camera for us. Fumiaki Tanaka and Kotaro Mastushima join the Sunwolves this season in a new-look squad as they attempt to “Rise as one” to meet the tougher challenges of facing the formidable New Zealand sides in the next Super Rugby season. On paper this looks like a radically different Sunwolves team to the … [Read more...]

Crowd out in force to watch Sunwolves play in Tokyo

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The Sunwolves failed to make it two Super Rugby wins on the trot when they went down to the Western Force. But the atmosphere at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground was once again superb. Japanese rugby fans have one last chance to see their heroes in action - on July 2 when they play the Waratahs. But before that, the Brave Blossoms are in action - with games against Hong Kong on May 28 at Chichibunomiya and against Scotland on June 18 at Toyota Stadium and June 25 at Ajinomoto … [Read more...]

Super Rugby Launches in Japan

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   On a beautifully crisp, cool, and sunny afternoon on February 27th, I, along with several friends and family had the pleasure of watching the Sunwolves play in their first home game in Tokyo. The Sunwolves are Japan’s first ever Super Rugby team and this is their inaugural  season.  And, while the cards are typically stacked against new franchise teams, the elements all conspired to make the day a memorable one for both fans and players. Playing against the highly ranked Lions … [Read more...]