Besides the Top League, Championship regional leagues will also resume in early September. We will focus here on transfers and objectives of the three regional leagues clubs in Division A (second division Japanese rugby). And as you'll see, there was énorméments movements with increasing arrivals of players contastées southerners.
1ère division japonaise TOP LEAGUE 2ème division japonaise LIGUE OUEST A LIGUE EST A LIGUE KYUSHU A 3ème division japonaise LIGUE OUEST A-1 LIGUE EST B LIGUE KYUSHU B 4ème division japonaise LIGUE OUEST B KANTO LEAGUE 1ère division 5ème division japonaise LIGUE OUEST B-1 KANTO LEAGUE 2ème division 6ème division japonaise KANTO LEAGUE 3ème division
A Western League features the best clubs in the Kansai region (roughly the area Keihanshin Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto), after those present in Top League of course. Toyota Shokki Shuttles will be the favorite for the championship, followed by the big outsider Honda Heat (relegated from the Top League).
Coach: Sanshiro Ueno
Captain: Takashi Tanaka (27 years)
Suzuka Club currently does not have managed to stay in Top League last season (13th) and continues to lift between the Top League and Western League A for three years. The red and black have seen many starts this season. Of these, we note that the Portugal international back Joe Gardener (26 years), came all the club in 2011 Aubenas (France, Federal 1), leaving the club after completing a great season in Honda Heat. The third line Australian Daniel Linde (24 years) is also leaving the club. Two huge losses for the club Suzuka. Pillar International South Korean Kim Young Gen (34 years), arrived in 2011 the club's South Korean Samsung SDI has not imposed and will attempt to restart in Toyota Shokki Shuttles, also League West A. For the rest, Sanshiro Ueno, coach of red and black, had to recruit a large majority of college players whose half opening Yushi Nakamura (23 years, Teikyo) and the giant Tongan Takau Talifolau third line (24 years, Nihon, 1.90m, 120kg). Honda Heat still managed to bring a southern star, the third line Faifili Levave (26 years, Hurricanes). The former U21 international in New Zealand is the big blow of red and black.
In addition to the youth of new recruits, the team can build on its strong men: former Japanese international Bryce Robins (31 years), who in his first season at Honda Heat from the NEC Green Rockets, was with Gardener certainly the best player of the season. The second line of New Zealand Hayden Triggs and hooker Takashi Tanaka have also done a tremendous season with the red and black.
But to expect back in the Top League, he'll have Rodney So'oialo (32 years) and Tyrone Smith (28 years) are level. Indeed, in their first season in the club last season, both players have been ghostly. Thus, the former New Zealand international So'oialo, who had been through a bad 2011 season in Super Rugby with his province Hurricanes, has been more absent with the Japanese club, never being tenured and not trampling lawns only 40 minutes total.
As for the Australian Centre Smith, arrived in the province of the Brumbies, he played very little (4 meetings, one tenure) and a balance sheet test blank (zero included). We therefore expect a lot of those two even if we can already say that Rodney So'oialo is a mere shadow of himself.
Heat for Honda, rising to the Top League looks difficult as clubs such as Toyota Shokki Shuttles, Kubota Spears, Sagamihara Dynaboars and Coca-Cola West Red Sparks-are better armed. But if the third line Levave / Talifolau / So 'oialo is the rendezvous, the red and black will do very badly before.
TOYOTA SHOKKI Shuttles
Coach: Makoto Tamura
2011 Champion League West A, Toyota Shokki Shuttles however failed to recover in Top League, losing in the dam against Fukuoka Sanix Blues on the final score of 39-17. The end of a cycle. Blue and white and have seen very many departures, 19 this offseason! A record that was all confused Japanese club. And not least. Thus the club has seen the departure of the back and International captain of the Philippine Michael Letts (27 years). The second line English Will Bowley (28 years), the second line Fijian Ifereimi Rawaqa (31 years), the second line New Zealand Nemia Soqeta (27 years) and former Japanese international Murray Williams (30 years) are among the big departures in the summer. In addition to these foreigners, the club also saw several of its representatives iconic Toyota Shokki Shuttles leave: the pileir Hiromasa Sowa (2001-2012), the 1/2 melee Kazuhiko Goto (2001-2012), hooker Shingo Arita (2002 - 2012) and the second line Shigeyuki Ishikawa (2002-2012). The end of an era. Before starting from scratch, Makoto Tamura, coach blue and white stars recruited many southerners.
Thus, the club this summer sees the arrival of the second line of New Zealand Chris Lowrey (25 years, Blues), the third line of the South African Ryan Kankowski (26 years, Sharks), the 1/2 Australian scrum James Stannard ( 29, Western Force) and the Australian back Mark Gerrard (29 years, Rebels). The latter already knows Japan has evolved since the colors of the NTT Shining Arcs for two seasons (2009-2011). Besides these stars, the blue and white have also recruited the pillar International South Korean Kim Young Gen (34 years, ex-Heat Honda). After a complicated season at Suzuka Club, Kim Young Gen is trying to revive in Toyota Shokki Shuttles. The club has also recruited two Japanese international, Taufa Tafiaibahayu (30 years, former Kintetsu Liners) and Sione Faamao Teaupa (25 years, ex-Clean Fighters). If the first is to raise after a season at the club ghostly Higashiosaka, the second spring season with a superb club Fighters Clean with whom he became champion of the first division of the Kanto League (fourth division Japanese) . Just as Kazuya Aoki (Mitsubishi Sagamihara join the party Dynaboars), the Japanese International 7 is going to discover the regional league championship A (second division Japanese). A player to watch this season then.
Besides all these recruits, Makoto Tamura will be based on sound values of the team remained at the club: the Hong Kong international Mark Wright (27 years, but converted the third line center in a club) and Kenzo Pannell (28, 1/2 opening) and Tongan Siosaia Fifita (29, third line) and Joseph Vaka (31 years, center). A veritable armada which should dominate the league West A (including Heat Honda) and Toyota Shokki Shuttles make one very big favorites of the rise in Top League at the end of next season.
Chubu Electric Power
Coach: Tomohisa Yamada
Captain: Junpei Matsuda (26 years)
The team from the power company Chubu rest on a great season 2011/2012 with a qualification and a second place in Top Challenge 2. This offseason, the orange and black were especially recruited back Simon Munro (24 years, ex-Northland). The New Zealand left the ITM Cup and will therefore find the second Japanese division, and another compatriot already in the club, the third line Albertus Mulder (29 years).
Despite this reinforcement weight, the coach will Tomohisa Yamada tough challenges to qualify his team for the top challenges in a league where A West will present two big teams in regional leagues, Toyota and Honda Heat Shokki Shuttles (relegated from League Top ). Chubu Electric Power is expected to complete in mid-table League West A.
Coach: Daisuke Murata
Captain: Kazuma Fujimoto
Team lowest League West A, the Railers were saved last season by beating dam, December 24, 2011, Unitika Phoenix, League West champion A-1, with a score of 37-07.
But again this season, the Railers should make up the numbers that (like the zero cashed 99 last season against Toyota Shokki Shuttles) and therefore logically complete at the last place in the Championship League West A. A season galley more so for the coach Daisuke Murata.
Osaka police stands out very well in Western League A. But faced with the ogres of the pool (Heat Honda, Toyota Shokki Shuttles), Osaka players, well above the Railers, should play mid-table, as the Chubu Electric Power.
LEAGUE east A
A League East, which represents the Tokyo area (Kanto) and its surroundings is by far the most difficult of the three regional leagues A (2nd Division Japanese). Kubota Spears and Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars are the favorites for the championship.
Coach: Toutai Kefu (Australia)
Captain: Tatsurou Konno (25 years)
2nd A Eastern League last season, the club failed to home the rise, bowing in the face of the dam NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, with a score of 29-27. What have tremendous regrets. This offseason, the club has seen many departures. Thus, the 1/2 Australian Open Daruda Scott (26 years, including former Agen) left the Kubota Spears after two years spent at the club (2010-2012). The 1/2 melee NZ James Rodley (27 years) also left the team after one season with the Kubota Spears. Former Japanese international center Hideyuki Yoshida (35) is retiring after 13 seasons at the club (1999-2012). Another leading figure, the pillar Kuniyuki Ito (37) is also retiring after his entire career at the Kubota Spears (1993-2012).
In the other direction, the club has recruited the Australian Toutai Kefu who became the new coach of the club. At the opening, to replace Daruda, leaders recruited no less than the Tongan international Kurt Morath (27 years, formerly Eastern Suburbs). At the front, with major operations came from the second line New Zealand Hoani Matenga (25 years, former Mont de Marsan) and the third line Tongan Elone TakiTaki (27 years, former Coca-Cola West Red Sparks). The latter, lack of playing time in Red Sparks comes in to boost Kubota Spears. For the rest, the blue and white have recruited six young Japanese scholars whose Harumichi Tatekawa (22 years, former Tenri). Tatekawa, finalist last season with Tenri University, was rewarded by having been called several times in selection by Eddie Jones. Tatekawa, who can play positions 1/2 opening and center, is an excellent addition to the Kubota Spears. It will evolve alongside a former partner of Tenri, the third line Reiichi Tamura (22 years), which we expect a lot this coming season.
Toutai Kefu will increasingly rely on its other international: in the third line, the Tongan Alando Soakai (29 years), the Australian Hugh McMeniman (28 years), New Zealander Joshua Fuimaono (28 years), without forgetting the Samoan center Seilala Mapusua (32 years) and South Korean Kim Young Nam (34, second line) and Lee Myung Geun (34, 1/2 melee). Kubota Spears will well waited for one of two monsters League Is A with Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars, and a logical contender to the rise in Top League this coming season.
MITSUBISHI SAGAMIHARA DYNABOARS
Coach: Masashi Iwakura
Captain Yuji Shibamoto (28 years)
Failing narrowly qualifying Top Challenge 2 last season, finishing in 3rd place in the Eastern League A, Sagamihara Club has undergone profound changes in its squad this season. Several notable departures, including that of the winger Taro Yuzuru (33 years), now retired. The third line Tongan Viliami Ma'afu (30 years) has meanwhile joined the league and Scottish club Celtic of Glasgow Warriors. The second line Chinese Zhong Liang He (31 years), author of a fine season with the Green, has joined the club promoted to Canon Eagles in Top League.
Faced with all these departures, Masashi Iwakura, club president, took out the checkbook. And it's very heavy coming into the team. The former Wales international winger Shane Williams (35 years, former Ospreys) joined the roster for a season. The club has also recruited the Sagamihara second line New Zealand Tom Donnelly (Crusaders). Besides these stars, wild boars have also recruited Top League players who need to raise: the pillar Takayuki Kitagawa (30 years, former Panasonic Wild Knights), the China International pillar Sibo Wang (25 years, former Kobelco Steelers ) and 1/2 Opening Eiji Ando (30 years, former NEC Green Rockets). The latter, a former Japanese international, competition from McIntyre and the Japanese international Yu Tamura, decided to try something new with the club in Sagamihara and has left the NEC Green Rockets, his club history, after seven years of loyalty (2005 -2012).
But the Greens have also recruited promising players such as third-line South Korean international Lee Hyun (28 years, former Red Dolphins Hino), the third line Hiroki Nakamura (23 years, former Waseda) or the rear Kazuya Aoki (23 years, ex-Clean Fighters). The latter, a former player of the university sports science and Japanese, has made a tremendous season with the Clean Fighters, becoming the first champion of the division of the Kanto League (fourth Japanese division), allowing the club to Tokyo to access Eastern League B (third Japanese division). Spotted by Dynaboars Sagamihara, so he joined the club's membership of Sagamihara. Teaupa join the party with Toyota Shokki Shuttles (League West A), are two nuggets of Fighters Club Clean which will evolve into the second Japanese division this season. The benefits of young Kazuya Aoki will follow!
In addition to recruitment, Masashi Iwakura coach can count on the usual pillars of the team: the New Zealand Alex Ainley (31 years, the second line), Alexander Sandusky (29, third row), David Milo (27 years, the third line) and Tevita Lepolo (24, center), 1/2 melee and captain Yuji Shibamoto (28 years) and 1/2 English Opening David Walder (34 years). Suffice to say that it is a veritable armada Aura available Iwakura coach this season. With a monstrous eight front on paper (Kitagawa, Sugimoto, Sibo, Donnelly, Ainley, Sandusky, Lee, Milo), an effective hinge (Shibamoto / Walder, see Shibamoto / Ando) and back with a template as Lepolo , a fire-wisp like Williams and a young promising as Aoki, Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars likely to hurt a lot this coming season and will be one of the favorites to climb with Kubota Spears.
Kamaishi SEA WAVES
Coach: Paul Hodder (Australia)
Captain: Ken Hiroshi Miura (35)
For over a year since the tsunami of March 11, 2011 struck the coast of eastern Japan, including the small town of Kamaishi (40 0000 inhabitants). While the city is rebuilt completely devastated, his team symbol of the Japanese city, is still there. Fourth last season, the club has greatly enhanced this summer with the arrival of the third line of New Zealand Andrew Stead (27 year-old former Otago ITM Cup), the Samoan center Uarotafou Setu (25 years, former Sunnybank) and especially the third line Takeomi Ito (41 years). Former Japanese international is great to make a final challenge after 18 seasons in Kobelco Steelers (1994-2012). The team, coached by Australian Paul Hodder, will be the big underdog League Is A behind the two armadas that are Kubota Spears and Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars.
Because in addition to these new recruits, Hodder can count on its usual big players: the second line Ruirata Tongan (31 years), New Zealand Pita Alatini (36, 1/2 opening) and Brendan Neilson (34 years , 1/2 opening) and the Japanese International 7, Mafileo Piei (26 years, "the hero of Kamaishi"). Kamaishi Sea Waves should finish at worst third in the championship this coming season.
Captain Jin Imamori (28 years)
5th A Eastern League last season, the club Tokyo remains one of the mainstays of this championship. On one level below the large armadas of the chicken that are Dynaboars Sagamihara, Kubota Spears and Kamaishi Sea Waves, Tokyo Gas should logically aim for 4th place this season. The blue and black can rely on their foreign stars: New Zealanders Charles Wyllie (30 years, the second line) and James Maher (29, third line) and the center Tongan Brando Va'aulu (25 years).
Coach: Taro Yamashita
Captain: Junjiro Ohno (27 years)
Kurita Water Club, the sixth league championship Is A last season, has been strengthened with the arrival this summer including two New Zealanders, the third line Ash Parker (23 years, former Canterbury) and center Jason Kawau (31 years, former Kobelco Steelers). Former New Zealand international, competition from Japanese Daisuke Yamamoto and before the arrival of South Africa's Jaque Fourie, has decided to leave the club in Kobe Top League and to raise with the Kurita Water.
Taro Yamashita, coach Kurita Water, has better size, but the team should not aim higher than mid-table championship again.
AKITA NORTHERN BULLETS
Coach: Setareki Tawake (Fiji)
Captain: Takashi Takahashi (28 years)
Akita Club, seventh last season, has the distinction of being led by former Fijian international third line Setareki Tawake (42 years). Akita Northern Bullets has very good players with the presence of the Tongan international, central Alaska Taufa (29 years). Another Tongan is part of the workforce, the third line Tiuana Takapu (30 years). We can add back Manueri Fiji (26 years) or the young South Korean pillar Cho Jin-Hyun (23 years). With this number, Takahashi partners should play mid-table this season.
RED DOLPHINS HINO
Captain: Tetsuya Miyamoto (28 years)
The Hino club finished 8th in the championship last season, is avoiding dams. Coach Takayuki saw the departure of its best this offseason to bigger clubs. Thus, the winger Shinji Nakata (25) joined the Eagles Canon (Top League) and the third line international South Korean Lee Hyun (28 years) joined the team of Sagamihara Dynaboars. Two departures that hurt the red and black.
To compensate for fat loss including the South Korean International, Hino the club has recruited the third line of New Zealand Mitchell Crosswell (23 years, former Manawatu Turbos). The red and black were also recruited to the back of another player to ITM Cup championship, the center of New Zealand Jack Umaga (28 years, former Tasman Makos). This comes after a season to boost black ITM Cup. The club can also count on his second line Fijian Samuela Anise (25 years).
Despite these reinforcements, Tetsuya Miyamoto coéquipers should still fight to maintain this season.
Yokogawa Musashino ATLASTARS
Coach: Yukihiro Sato
Captain: Yusuke Kawashima (27 years)
Club Musashino had a disastrous 2011 season. And it's nothing to say. Everything began with the famous September 25, 2011 and this game of the third day of the season against the Kamaishi Sea Waves (15-20 defeat). In frustration, one of the players Yokogawa insulted an opponent, including his family. He was the player of Kamaishi had just lost in the tsunami of March 11, 2011 many members of his family. Yokogawa player was suspended until the end of the season. Died of shame, the president of Yokogawa, Masatoshi Okabe, canceled four upcoming meetings planned for his team and forced his players, the game day normally go to help a population in need of Kamaishi, apologizing for the behavior of their player and avoid in the future a new case of this kind. Bottom line, with just five games played and only one win against IBM in the last day, Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars finished second last A Eastern League and saved his skin by crushing dam Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance (2nd League is , with a score of 56 to zero.
This season, the club Musashino saw the departure of its best player, the third line Joshua Mau (25 years). The New Zealand author of an excellent season, in fact joined the Eagles Canon (Top League). The atlastars may, however, rely on their famous colony of South Korea: the second line Ku Young, the third line Kentoku Zhao (27 years) and 1/2 Opening Cho Hyun Cheol (25 years). Unless another incident like last season, Yokogawa Musashino, former Top Club League (season 2008/2009) is expected to remain fairly quickly. Big Blue IBM and Yakult are significantly lower than the team of Musashino.
BIG BLUE IBM
Coach: Shinji Yamada
Captain: Junji Enya (30 years)
The former club of Top League (2004/2005 and 2006/2009), has kept its place in League Is A last season by making a draw against Yakult (Champion League East , with a score of 15 - 15. It must be said that IBM Big Blue is once more totally amateur league since its descent is A and it is the only club championship to have no foreign player in his team. With a staff like this, the club is still led IBM to suffer this season and will struggle to maintain it.
Coach: Kaoru Masuda
Captain: Hiroshi Haruyama (27 years)
Yakult Club, champion of the 2011 Eastern League B (third Japanese division) found the league is A. For despite the draw against IBM in Dam (15-15), the blue and yellow have benefited from rising Canon Eagles Top League and the return of the Eastern League clubs to 8 B (mounted with the Clean Fighters and Toshiba ome of the first division of the Kanto League, the club having been dis TEPCO in 2011), to access the Eastern League A.
This season, Kaoru Masuda, coach of the team has managed to bring the third line of New Zealand Hamish Paterson (25 years), from Panasonic Wild Knights (Top League). Paterson is attempting to revive itself after its ghostly season at the club Ota. There will join such other foreign player, the pillar Samoan Brian Meki (25 years). Yakult will attempt to maintain, against its major competitors retention: IBM BIg Blue, Red and Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars Dolphins Hino.
KYUSHU A LEAGUE
A Kyushu League is by far the weakest of the three regional leagues A (second division Japanese) The Red Sparks should easily crush the championship and qualify for a Top Challenge (competition is zero for the red and white).
COCA-COLA WEST RED SPARKS
Coach: Satoshi Yamaguchi
Captain: Masakazu Toyoda (26 years)
After six consecutive seasons in Top League (2006-2012), the red and white were relegated in Kyushu League A (second division Japanese). Following the raid, many players have left the club: the second line South Korean Kim Kyul (27 years) left to join the Toshiba Brave Lupus in Top League, the third line Tongan Elone TakiTaki (27 years), which will attempt to restart at the Kubota Spears, Is A league after four seasons with the Red Sparks (2008-2012). One can also note the departures of NZ Angus McDonald (31 years) and Timothy Bateman (25 years) and the Australian Centre Lelea Paea (29 years). Despite the poor results, Shogo Mukai was promoted to sporting director and Satoshi Yamaguchi was named new coach of the team. This is a regular at the club since Yamaguchi played for the Red Sparks as a third line for nine seasons (2002-2011).
To go faster in the Top League, the red and white have recruited several very good players to start the Samoan international center Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu (31 years, ex-Gloucester). The Red Sparks have also recruited the center of New Zealand Tu Umaga-Marshall (29 years, former Hawkes Bay) and the young half opening Australian Peter Smith (23 years, former University of Sydney). In addition to these new recruits, Satoshi Yamaguchi will rely on its international Japanese hooker Ryuhei Arita (23 years) and the third line Yusaku Kuwazuru (26 years). Not to mention the second line Samoan Jonathon Fa'amatuainu (28 years). With this number, Coca-Cola West Red Sparks should fly well Kyushu A League before entering the drive in a Top Challenge, for rising to the Top League.
MAZDA BLUE ZOOMERS
Coach: K. Ohta
Third in the league last season Kyushu A but qualified for the Top Challenge 2 during the playoffs, players Mazda then finished last in the same tournament. This offseason, the club has recruited four young college players whose third line Hirokazu Ishigami, University of Tokai. Recruitment thin. Despite this, the coach Ohta can always count on his foreign stars: the Tonga Tongan Manako (35, third line) and Lomani Tongo Tongo (29, center) and the very young Fijian winger Lomano Lemeki (23 years). This season, in a championship which will be largely dominated by Red Sparks, Mazda Blue Zoomers will to fight for second place with Thunders JR.
Coach: Koji Obiyama
Captain: Masanori Hattori (26 years)
Despite a second place in the championship behind Kyuden Voltex last season, the blue and white were surprised at the play-offs by Mazda Blue Zoomers and have not qualified for the Top Challenge 2. Like Mazda, JR Thunders was reinforced with college players. The coach Koji Obiyama attempt to win a qualifying spot for the playoffs Kyushu League A, the untouchable behind Coca-Cola West Red Sparks.
The other teams in the league Kyushu A try for their part to maintain. This is the case of Chugoku Electric Power, which plays a young Japanese international pillar, Hidetatsu Tsuboi (23 years). The latter should logically play his final season with Chugoku before being coveted by Top League clubs. Fukuoka Bank (the Bank of Fukuoka so), the last championship last season, was miraculously saved when the play-downs. Still a very difficult season for. The two promoted teams Yamagataya (Kyushu League Champion 2011 and Nippon Steel Yawata (Kyushu second league , the battle will be tough to maintain until the end