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jrugbypodcast

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jrugbypodcast

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The Sunwolves nearly pulled off a shock in Bloemfontein! Japanese rugby is alive and kicking, even though they are held back due to their domestic schedule, lack of home matches, etc. Imagine what this team could do if organisational issues could be sorted?! Here's our match report for the Cheetahs v Sunwolves match: http://www.jrugbypodcast.com/sunwolves/cheetahs-38-31-sunwolves You can also find all of our podcasts on the website too...
 

jrugbypodcast

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NEW EPISODE OUT NOW! Please listen on http://www.jrugbypodcast.com/ We talk to Kyodo news journalist, RIch Freeman, about the Sunwolves season so far, our best 15, and outstanding issues surrounding the squad. We also delve into Jamie Joseph's recent comments on taking over from Eddie, the rise of Chinese rugby, and whether Ayumu Goromaru will ever play for Japan again. Picture provided by fsg-art.jp/rugby/
 

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TRF_stormer2010

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Is the Sunwolves' (huge) win over the Blues anything worth talking about? Does anyone on here also know why a player like Amanaki Mafi is signed with the Rebels rather than the 'Wolves? He is the type of player you can build your gameplan around or at least adds an extra arrow to teh quiver.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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I don't know about Mafi, but the horrific travel schedule of the SW was reportedly a factor behind Yamada not re-signing. Leitch joining them next year, hopefully Mafi follows suit.
 

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I don't know about Mafi, but the horrific travel schedule of the SW was reportedly a factor behind Yamada not re-signing. Leitch joining them next year, hopefully Mafi follows suit.

I can understand travel being a factor. Especially for players with young families. Hopefully with less teams in the comp that helps. But who knows what the format will be like. Trust SANZAR to mess up the format even with less teams in the competition.

One would assume they'll join the Aus conference which should further help both in terms of their travel and they should find themselves in a conference where they should be in a position to win more games expecially since I figure ther joining Aussie in a conference will mean they can play all their home matches in Japan and skip Singapore which was a requirement from the SA teams for them joining an SA conference to try and minimize travel if I remember correctly.
 

Gregster

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Yes, it's already been confirmed that the Sunwolves will join the Australian Conference. Playing solely in Tokyo would be a huge boost to the team - not only due to less travelling, but because all three wins in Super Rugby so far have come at the Chichibunomiya stadium where the home crowd is very passionate.
 

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Sounds like the perfect storm brewing. Better players, double the home games, less travel for the away games, weaker opponents.

There's even speculation that the Aussie SR franchise which eventually gets dumped, will take a leaf from the Cheetahs' and Kings' book and move north: (into the Japanese Top League)

Move an Australian Super Rugby club to Japan and solve ARU problems
 

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Don't be surprised to see the Sunwolves sneak into the play-offs next year as top Aus team if they can keep up their form at home and the Aus SR sides don't pick up.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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The Oz side to the Top League is obviously complete speculation but looking at the calibre of players being signed up to the Top League (e.g. Cronje from the Kings) it seems there is significant money there. I think the article makes a valid point about needing to desperately try and keep union alive in the huge Oz cities. The fact the SARU have had the balls to set a precedent makes this less outlandish.

Whether the Japanese would want the hassle is anyone's guess. The Force in particular would be difficult travelling (I'd imagine) and I don't know if Oz would bring the level of TV money that the SARU can offer the Pro12. Plus I doubt the Top League is as desperate for money as the Pro12. So I doubt this would happen.
 

Gregster

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I think that the Sunwolves reaching the play-offs next season is a little optimistic given that they've never beaten Australian opposition or won a game outside of Japan. Simply doubling this season's tally of victories (two) would be an achievement in itself.
Don't be surprised to see the Sunwolves sneak into the play-offs next year as top Aus team if they can keep up their form at home and the Aus SR sides don't pick up.
 

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In 2016, they couldn't beat any Australian or South African opposition (and didn't play NZ).
In 2017, they beat both South African and New Zealand opposition (and didn't play Aus).

If for 2018 they manage to sign some of the players they've always wanted, 2016 is going to feel like a *looong* time ago.
 

Gregster

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I've only really started following the Sunwolves this season, so who are some of these players they've been trying to sign for a while? Has the schedule and travelling been the reason behind not being able to sign them until now?
 

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Leitch (they get him next year)
Mafi (currently at Rebels but if they get removed from the league...)
Yamada (played for SW in previous season but reportedly has a young family and didn't like the travelling so just stayed in the Top League this year).

I have it in my head that there is another Japaness forward in Australia....

Japanese coach Joseph alluded to there being other players they couldn't sign, but didn't specify. I'd imagine they'd want the promising new fullback that played against Ireland last month whose name escapes me.

These would all strengthen the SW although Yamada is getting on a bit and Leitch's level seems to have dropped a bit. They'd help squad depth but wouldn't make them playoff contenders in one year.
 

Gregster

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Leitch (they get him next year)
Mafi (currently at Rebels but if they get removed from the league...)
Yamada (played for SW in previous season but reportedly has a young family and didn't like the travelling so just stayed in the Top League this year).

I have it in my head that there is another Japaness forward in Australia....

Japanese coach Joseph alluded to there being other players they couldn't sign, but didn't specify. I'd imagine they'd want the promising new fullback that played against Ireland last month whose name escapes me.

These would all strengthen the SW although Yamada is getting on a bit and Leitch's level seems to have dropped a bit. They'd help squad depth but wouldn't make them playoff contenders in one year.
Thanks for the update. Had the Sunwolves not pulled off that incredible victory over the Blues in the final game, would their place in Super Rugby have been in jeopardy?
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

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Leitch (they get him next year)
Mafi (currently at Rebels but if they get removed from the league...)
Yamada (played for SW in previous season but reportedly has a young family and didn't like the travelling so just stayed in the Top League this year).

I have it in my head that there is another Japaness forward in Australia....

Japanese coach Joseph alluded to there being other players they couldn't sign, but didn't specify. I'd imagine they'd want the promising new fullback that played against Ireland last month whose name escapes me.

These would all strengthen the SW although Yamada is getting on a bit and Leitch's level seems to have dropped a bit. They'd help squad depth but wouldn't make them playoff contenders in one year.

Tui at the reds who is a great player.
 

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