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Sunwolves Reprieve?

barkinghooker

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Pushed us close at Twickenham for the the first hour - think it was 16-15 before we ran in a few tries late on when conditioning came into play


And they're launching a new club system off of the back of it. They're doing everything right atm, and are growing - I don't get why you're so down on them. Of any of the Tier 2 sides they're the only one who's shown consistent improvement over the last RWC cycle and picked up a number of big scalps.

I'm not being down on them. I hope their sucess grows the game as a whole. I hope the new club system you mentioned draws in local talent and other Asian players to boost the region.

Id like Japan to be the benchmark for emerging nations in the region.

Don't you think that would be better for world rugby?

If Japan join the Rugby Championship or the 6 nation's, realistically when could they win it ?
 

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I'm not being down on them. I hope their sucess grows the game as a whole. I hope the new club system you mentioned draws in local talent and other Asian players to boost the region.

Id like Japan to be the benchmark for emerging nations in the region.

Don't you think that would be better for world rugby?

If Japan join the Rugby Championship or the 6 nation's, realistically when could they win it ?
That’s not the gauge for entering a comp...if so the World Cup would be four or five teams
 

TRF_Olyy

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I'm not being down on them. I hope their sucess grows the game as a whole. I hope the new club system you mentioned draws in local talent and other Asian players to boost the region.

Id like Japan to be the benchmark for emerging nations in the region.

Don't you think that would be better for world rugby?

If Japan join the Rugby Championship or the 6 nation's, realistically when could they win it ?
The whole thing? No, but neither could Scotland, Italy or France realistically.

I could see them doing about as well as Scotland: Beating Italy every year and picking up a win or two against the others every year depending on the draw.

Is Argentina in a place to win TRC?
 

barkinghooker

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The whole thing? No, but neither could Scotland, Italy or France realistically.

I could see them doing about as well as Scotland: Beating Italy every year and picking up a win or two against the others every year depending on the draw.

Is Argentina in a place to win TRC?

Scotland is one of forefathers and France joined with an established growth of the game and both have won the 5 nations as it was back then.

Italy joined and it did nothing. They may be in a better place with their pro 14 teams and I expect them to be more competitive over the next cycle.

I think Argentina have gone backwards. They play an attractive game but their previous sucess at the 2007 world cup lead to an evolution that is nothing like their history of a more northern Europe style of play and they just get spanked nowadays.

They also got to the semi finals beating the hosts twice to finish 3rd that world cup which warranted a serious approach to higher profile matches.

I believe a strong domestic game is more important than playing in high profile international championships to make a successful strong team. (That argie team had 20 something European based players )
 

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I'm not being down on them. I hope their sucess grows the game as a whole. I hope the new club system you mentioned draws in local talent and other Asian players to boost the region.

Id like Japan to be the benchmark for emerging nations in the region.

Don't you think that would be better for world rugby?

If Japan join the Rugby Championship or the 6 nation's, realistically when could they win it ?

You are looking at it the wrong way. They shouldn't be included with the prospect of winning the competition. At least not until they become a powerhouse themselves, but to improve the quality of the product they are producing. Playing against better teams, will in turn make them a better team.

Argentina as an example started out in the RC getting hidings, sometimes over 70 points were scored against them, but now it's damn hard to beat them, especially in Argentina. They've improved their product immensely since they joined the RC.

That's why there are discussions about them joining the big leagues.
 

barkinghooker

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You are looking at it the wrong way. They shouldn't be included with the prospect of winning the competition. At least not until they become a powerhouse themselves, but to improve the quality of the product they are producing. Playing against better teams, will in turn make them a better team.

Argentina as an example started out in the RC getting hidings, sometimes over 70 points were scored against them, but now it's damn hard to beat them, especially in Argentina. They've improved their product immensely since they joined the RC.

That's why there are discussions about them joining the big leagues.

I have to disagree regarding Argentina. They play attractive rugby but mid year and end of year tests they don't do well but I said previously they warranted joining a big league finishing 3rd at a world cup.

The narrower defeats I'm guessing is because of the SR team and adapting their game away from their conservative years.


I don't think being hammered in a quarter final justifies Japan's hype though.

I know the game was different back in 95 but I don't remember South Africa being part of a championship and they did alright. They always had the domestic strength and Japan do not have that structure and growth at the moment.

I'd rather the game grows in the region so by 2027 all 20 teams will hopefully be fully professional.

Japan could be the reason for that.
 

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I’m getting the impression you wish Japan all the best...just as long as they stay over there with the other asian countries
 

barkinghooker

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I’m getting the impression you wish Japan all the best...just as long as they stay over there with the other asian countries

Yes. 100%

My last comment was about growth in the region and Japan could be the model for nations like Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore to up there game and professionalism and start competitive rivalries where they share similar time zones, consumer products and all make money together.

Japan still have been getting tier 1 tests. England got 2 tests there in 2020.

They'll be getting the opportunity to play 3-7 hard tests every year now.

I'm not sure what angle you was trying to imply with your comment.
 
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TRF_Olyy

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Surely you reward the better team with better opposition, though?
Japan is a significant step above Hong Kong and Korea - keeping them in a closed comp with those would dull Japan rather than sharpen HK/Korea


I'm not necessarily saying Japan should be in the Six Nations - I've said from the start that they're in a nightmare location to join an established comp, being about 12hrs flight from the nearest 6N/TRC opposition, upto 36hrs from the furthest, but we shouldn't just be content to let the minnows continue to scrap it out amongst themselves and only really give them a shot every four years during the world cup.

Sure there's the mid/end of year tours, but they always have caveats (tired teams/weakened teams etc.etc - Japan beat Wales in 2013 and what came of that?). If a side is showing that they're on a level with the tier 1 sides then the rugby community really should be making an effort to nurture that - not just say "Oh well they're doing well, maybe it will rub off on the amateur sides that they batter every year."
 

barkinghooker

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Surely you reward the better team with better opposition, though?
Japan is a significant step above Hong Kong and Korea - keeping them in a closed comp with those would dull Japan rather than sharpen HK/Korea


I'm not necessarily saying Japan should be in the Six Nations - I've said from the start that they're in a nightmare location to join an established comp, being about 12hrs flight from the nearest 6N/TRC opposition, upto 36hrs from the furthest, but we shouldn't just be content to let the minnows continue to scrap it out amongst themselves and only really give them a shot every four years during the world cup.

Sure there's the mid/end of year tours, but they always have caveats (tired teams/weakened teams etc.etc - Japan beat Wales in 2013 and what came of that?). If a side is showing that they're on a level with the tier 1 sides then the rugby community really should be making an effort to nurture that - not just say "Oh well they're doing well, maybe it will rub off on the amateur sides that they batter every year."

Japan beat Wales because most of the Welsh were in the lions team. Fair play to Japan still.


The points you raised with the time schedules is why I'm more in line with growing the game in the region.

You mention tier 1 nations have a duty to help. Well Japan have a duty to those playing catch up to them.

It would probably require significant help from World Rugby to expand the game in Asia untill their unions become a product that make money.

If those countries can harness their best athletes by domestically growing their game then the whole region just improves and those local rivalries will be competitive enough against nations outside of their yearly tournament.

And Japan could lead the way in that region.
 

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Aye, that's fair tbh.

It's just a flip of a coin for Japan - seek better opposition and improve yourself or stay where you are and hope to improve the competition around you.
 

barkinghooker

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Aye, that's fair tbh.

It's just a flip of a coin for Japan - seek better opposition and improve yourself or stay where you are and hope to improve the competition around you.

I think Japan's domestic league starts in Early January too so that ends the 6 nation's talks already. Their domestic season is more in line with SH fixtures.
 

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I don't think that either Italy or Argentina provide much evidence that throwing emerging teams into established competitions does them all that much good, are either really any better than they were when they entered? The sole success for Argentina in the last decade or so is beating Ireland in one game in 2015 (and power to them, it's more than we can say) and pretty much every year they lose every game in the RC and then have a series of uninspiring and forgettable losses on tour in the NH. As for Italy, nothing needs to be said, they're slowly improving (if not noticeably at senior international level) but it has f*** all to do with their Six Nations membership. A few years in the Pro14 have done far more for them than the 20 years they've spent getting thrashed by all comers in the 6N (except for a while where Scotland were equally s***).

Seems to me (notnthat I know anything) that what's happening at club level is far more important here than the success of the international team which is always going to fluctuate, and it seems like Japan are going about that aspect of the game right. Seems like the new competition will have a good balance between Japanese players and foreigners (especially internationals from the big three SH who'll drive standards up).

I'd love to have Japan in the Six Nations but don't think it's feasible. What makes the 6N work is that everything is close together, the furthest you have to go is Rome. Japan is on the other side of the world and a totally different prospect, in terms of formatting it'd be incredibly difficult (you'd probably need to guarantee teams a rest week after an away game there). And that's just looking at it from a European perspective, it'd be incredibly hard on the Japanese team themselves. This is before you get into how you format a seven team compeition. Just can't see how it could work, as great as it would be.
 

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I don't think that either Italy or Argentina provide much evidence that throwing emerging teams into established competitions does them all that much good, are either really any better than they were when they entered? The sole success for Argentina in the last decade or so is beating Ireland in one game in 2015 (and power to them, it's more than we can say) and pretty much every year they lose every game in the RC and then have a series of uninspiring and forgettable losses on tour in the NH. As for Italy, nothing needs to be said, they're slowly improving (if not noticeably at senior international level) but it has f*** all to do with their Six Nations membership. A few years in the Pro14 have done far more for them than the 20 years they've spent getting thrashed by all comers in the 6N (except for a while where Scotland were equally s***).

Seems to me (notnthat I know anything) that what's happening at club level is far more important here than the success of the international team which is always going to fluctuate, and it seems like Japan are going about that aspect of the game right. Seems like the new competition will have a good balance between Japanese players and foreigners (especially internationals from the big three SH who'll drive standards up).

I'd love to have Japan in the Six Nations but don't think it's feasible. What makes the 6N work is that everything is close together, the furthest you have to go is Rome. Japan is on the other side of the world and a totally different prospect, in terms of formatting it'd be incredibly difficult (you'd probably need to guarantee teams a rest week after an away game there). And that's just looking at it from a European perspective, it'd be incredibly hard on the Japanese team themselves. This is before you get into how you format a seven team compeition. Just can't see how it could work, as great as it would be.

Agree that the club game is more important. But exposure to meaningful internationals can only help fuel interest in the club game. I think of them as two sides of the same coin when it comes to developing the sport in new territories.
 

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Sunwolves: Naoya Okubo announces the color. With the Top League, no Japanese international or big foreign names. The Japanese franchise will field select young Japanese players (including academics) for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. In addition, the plan is to integrate the Sunwolves to the future Japanese Pro League in 2021 and base the team in Fukuoka.

The priority of the JRFU (especially Vice President Katsuyuki Kiyomiya) is the reform and launch of the Japanese Pro League in 2021. 8 teams in the end to start including the Sunwolves.
 

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Ohh so much hate against us damn! We did finished 2nd on SR hahahaa(im looking at you TRF).

The sole success for Argentina in the last decade or so is beating Ireland in one game in 2015 (and power to them, it's more than we can say) and pretty much every year they lose every game in the RC and then have a series of uninspiring and forgettable losses on tour in the NH.

We got better results at RWC than you ever got with less talented teams. We got a 3rd and a 4th place. Gime a break.
 

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We got better results at RWC than you ever got with less talented teams. We got a 3rd and a 4th place. Gime a break.
Literally what I said. It's right there in the brackets.
 

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Japan beat Wales because most of the Welsh were in the lions team. Fair play to Japan still.


The points you raised with the time schedules is why I'm more in line with growing the game in the region.

You mention tier 1 nations have a duty to help. Well Japan have a duty to those playing catch up to them.

It would probably require significant help from World Rugby to expand the game in Asia untill their unions become a product that make money.

If those countries can harness their best athletes by domestically growing their game then the whole region just improves and those local rivalries will be competitive enough against nations outside of their yearly tournament.

And Japan could lead the way in that region.

I guess here is where the conundrum lies with a team like Japan. They are now caught inbetween. They have to play against top teams to remain competitive and be a more constant performer on international level, while also trying to assist the region of Asia in improving the sport in their countries, so it might become a delicate balancing act, and both sides of the argument has merit.

Japan is already leading the way in the region, I guess the question will be if they will have followers or will they remain an isolated beacon in the region?

I don't think that either Italy or Argentina provide much evidence that throwing emerging teams into established competitions does them all that much good, are either really any better than they were when they entered? The sole success for Argentina in the last decade or so is beating Ireland in one game in 2015 (and power to them, it's more than we can say) and pretty much every year they lose every game in the RC and then have a series of uninspiring and forgettable losses on tour in the NH. As for Italy, nothing needs to be said, they're slowly improving (if not noticeably at senior international level) but it has f*** all to do with their Six Nations membership. A few years in the Pro14 have done far more for them than the 20 years they've spent getting thrashed by all comers in the 6N (except for a while where Scotland were equally s***).

Seems to me (notnthat I know anything) that what's happening at club level is far more important here than the success of the international team which is always going to fluctuate, and it seems like Japan are going about that aspect of the game right. Seems like the new competition will have a good balance between Japanese players and foreigners (especially internationals from the big three SH who'll drive standards up).

I'd love to have Japan in the Six Nations but don't think it's feasible. What makes the 6N work is that everything is close together, the furthest you have to go is Rome. Japan is on the other side of the world and a totally different prospect, in terms of formatting it'd be incredibly difficult (you'd probably need to guarantee teams a rest week after an away game there). And that's just looking at it from a European perspective, it'd be incredibly hard on the Japanese team themselves. This is before you get into how you format a seven team compeition. Just can't see how it could work, as great as it would be.

I think Argentina have improved significantly, They have managed to beat the Springboks a couple of times, and have become a real force for teams visiting Argentina. This was their first 4-year cycle in playing in the Super Rugby as well as the Rugby Championship. I think their issue has more to do with the naivety they have about themselves and of other teams who have gone through these cycles before. I've said a lot about Argentina in their own thread and received a lot of flak for saying it (mostly because I'm not an Argentinian and in their views my opinion is misguided, which it might be, but I still think it has merit).

They performed very well this season in the Super Rugby, and even reached the final for the first time ever. They were confident because of that, and thought that it could be a building block for their campaign, and rightfully so. Then it was time for the RC, and in their first game, they played against the All Blacks, in Argentina, and nearly beaten the AB's, losing 20-16. Again, it all seemed like their planning is heading in the right direction.

But then they played the Springboks, and they lost, mostly due to some great individual play by Sbu Nkosi. But if you look at the players who started in this game, for South Africa, only 3 players who started this game, played in the final of the World Cup. Siya Kolisi, Lood De Jager and Sbu Nkosi. And 2 players that was on the bench, RG Snyman and Vincent Koch. Add to that if you look at the bench, only Faf De Klerk and Frans Steyn was part of the final. And if you look even broader than that, 8 players for South Africa didn't even go to the World Cup.

It might be unfair of me to compare Argentina to South Africa now, but to me, this comparison must be made:
  1. We were in the same conference in Super Rugby and our teams played each other twice.
  2. South Africa's resting and rotation policies both in Super Rugby as well as Rugby Championship proved to work. And this policy has been used for the second 4-year RWC cycle in a row now. We were 3rd in 2015 in the RWC and 1st this time around. That is something factual that our players can go the whole way in a World Cup tournament, be competitive in Super Rugby and RC, while limiting injuries and fatigue of players.
  3. 1 loss in a World Cup is not the end of the tournament. I know a lot of Argentine fans are blaming the loss against France as the main reason for their demise, but that to me is a very narrow-minded approach to this campaign.
  4. Player selection. South Africa went through a process where foreign based players was only allowed to be selected if they played more than 30 tests for SA, and we found that this policy is not working, and abolished that policy. We selected Cheslin Kolbe, Faf De Klerk, Frans Steyn, Francois Louw, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Cobus Reinach & Willie Le Roux. With only Le Roux, Steyn and Louw having more than 30 test caps. You have to choose your best players, no matter where they play in the world, but in doing so, you have to involve them in the planning process, and have them play some games and have them in the training camps, and not out of necessity because someone got injured.
 

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Sunwolves: Naoya Okubo announces the color. With the Top League, no Japanese international or big foreign names. The Japanese franchise will field select young Japanese players (including academics) for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. In addition, the plan is to integrate the Sunwolves to the future Japanese Pro League in 2021 and base the team in Fukuoka.

The priority of the JRFU (especially Vice President Katsuyuki Kiyomiya) is the reform and launch of the Japanese Pro League in 2021. 8 teams in the end to start including the Sunwolves.

I like the Sunwolves and am glad they'll still be around, albeit in another league. Thank you for the update, I'll keep an eye out for them in the Japanese Pro League.
 
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