Sunwolves start last Super Rugby campaign
Japanese based Super Rugby franchise, the Sunwolves, start their fifth and final season in the rugby competition this weekend, hosting the Australian Western Force.
Sunwolves 2020 Rugby Squad
The team and coaching setup are completely different for the Sunwolves in 2020. Naoya Okube takes over the coaching reigns (with Mark Hammett, Filo Tiatia, Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown in charge in previous years). Okubo is the former Top League club Suntory Sungoliath Director of Rugby.
One of the reasons for a depleted squad is because the Japanese Top League runs concurrently to the Super Rugby season, so many players are unavailable. Of the Top League teams, only Panasonic Wild Knights have released players.
The playing squad was also looking very light until recently, and they have only played one preseason game in which they thumped the Challenge Barbarians 81-28 in Fukuoka.
Some of the new notable international stars are Springboks Rudy Paige and JJ Engelbrecht as well as former England international Ben Te’o. Georgian hooker Jaba Bregvadze also returns.
As recently as this week, 5 more players were added to the squad, promoted from the wider training group. In the same week, it was announced that Keisuke Moriya and Jake Schatz were appointed co-captains for the 2020 Super Rugby season.
In the squad announced to take on the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday 1st February at home, very few Japanese players are included.
Sunwolves 2020 Super Rugby Schedule
The Japanese franchise will play home games in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Singapore in 2020 and the Sunwolves play their Super Rugby in the Australian conference group, alongside:
- NSW Waratahs
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