Japan Doesn't Want Super Rugby

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by feicarsinn, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    Japan head coach John Kirwan has insisted that officials in the country have no interest in forming part of the Super Rugby expansion. With contract negotiation between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia reaching breaking point earlier in the year many speculated that incorporating the well-financed Japanese in to the competition would allow for a new structure should South African involvement end.

    Negotiations were concluded between the parties last month, with a 15th franchise set to be based in Australia and the season extended.

    "We don't want to (play in Super Rugby) because we have 20 of the biggest sponsors in the world which spends between $US5-6 million on rugby teams," Kirwan told AAP. "So I can't see the point in having one franchise in Tokyo, all we're going to do is annoy Toyota which has a $US1 billion marketing budget."

    "We don't see it has any future. We believe in a strong home competition. We need to keep it strong so we have 200 or 300 Japanese playing at a high level. We're doing that through getting Georgie Gregan and Steve Larkham up there this year. Our competition is getting better year in, year out. I thinkSuper Rugby, in its current format, would break that down."


    Well I guess thats a blow for any expansion of Super Rugby into Japan. You can see their point, a strong domestic league is the first step towards being truly competitive internationally but I think Kirwan may be overstating the Top League's strength. Look at Italy after all. A pro set up doesn't mean a strong league as we see when the likes of Calvisano, Viadana and Treviso get regularly wiped in Europe. Also the Japanese season is very short with competition beginning in late October and ending in early February. Surely there has to be some way to arrange it so that the league can be run fully with an amalgamated team then going on to compete in Super rugby?
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  3. Woldog

    Woldog Guest

    I would rather Argentina than Japan anyway....
  4. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (feicarsinn @ Jun 11 2009, 04:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    The TOP LEAGUE is Semi-Pro. Last season only just saw the introduction of proper time keeping and the season just gone saw proper TV refs introduced and it is very short. As far as I know the youth set up is still so rudementary that the Japanese under 21s are still mostly picked from the top Universities like Tokyo and Waseda.

    I think this is a good thing for Japanese rugby. Italy are at the stage where the Super 10 league is nudging that glass ceiling and as you said they are getting beaten easily at European level. As they've built to the point where they have the structures in place to support a professional system in Italy, they can now expand and try and join up with other countries like the Magners League.

    Japan aren't at that stage yet. If they were running a full season with a fully professional set up and so on then you can start to think about attracting the likes of SANZAR into a 3 nation or 4 nation series. This was never going to take off from the start though precisely because of the reasons John Kirwan outlined including general Japanese wariness of outsiders coming in offering Super 14 rugby and a resentment that they need to be helped along to elite professionalism rather than them doing it themselves. You don't lecture someone from Japan about how to do something otherwise they'll end up being ****** off at you, in a polite way of course.

    Maybe next time the TV contracts are up for renewal which is by 2014, right?
  5. Scrumit2

    Scrumit2 Guest

    You know with everything I had read and heard come from John K. I thought he was a stand up guys and I routed for him...until now. If anything smells like sour grapes his take on the Super Rugby sure does. I dont know the whole story as to why he left NZ but it sounds like hes not over it. He was a HUGE adovcate for the World Cup in Japan and when I heard him talk about Asian Rugby on Total Rugby he sounded like he really care. Now this, it sounds to me like he is now a big fish in a small pond and he is afraid that if SANZAR come it he feels they will steal his thunder (to take a quote from Monica on Friends). It now seems he wants Japanese Rugby to advance only if he gets credit and is on the helm. Every SINGLE interview I have read with players talking about Super 14 rugby say it Top Notch (not to take from NH Rugby) many even have gone as far as saying if Super 14 had the money they would stay. Look even Chris Jack said he wants back in and Rocky came back. Freddie M. gave up money to play for the Sharks, and Todd C. has started the migration of US players to SH. So why would a nation not want their players tested against the best. Screw the money issue Toyota is the number one seller in Australia so they would die to have a team in a market which they dominate sales. John want to be the big fish thats why we said a league with lower nations would better suit Japan, because he knows he would be Lord Mayor with his experience and knowledge. I have lost all respect for a guy who I had looked to as a Savoir for the sport that needed a $ to become the sport it should be.
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