HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES join South African Group. Japan vs. Springboks again.
SUNWOVLES are participating in South Africa Conference 1 from 2016 season. The teams in the conference have Springboks players and some of them are playing in Top League in Japan atrracting Rugby fans in Japan.
SUPER RUGBY all 18 teams
and key players introduction
South African Group
South African Group is organized with two conferences. Bulls, Cheetahs, Stormers and HITO-Communications Sunwolves are in the Africa 01 Conference, and Kings, Lions, Sharks and Jaguares are in the Africa 02 Conference. They play home and away games in each conference, and they will have a match with teams from another conference in South African Group and have in total 5 matches with Australian and NZ teams.
A veteran team that humiliatingly demoted in 2013.They are in a good condition that its parent team Golden Lions became the national champion in 2015 season. Match with HITO-Communications Sunwolves on Feb 27th in Tokyo.
Crowned World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in South Africa, and became a member of Springboks. He has been away from the international rugby scenes for some time, but has revived his performance since he started playing at NTT Communications (Japan Top League). He runs with lightning speed, and has accurate kicks which taken over from his deceased father. He was not able to join the World Cup squad, but has high hopes of returning to South African national team.
The team is well developed and made into playoffs in 2013 with their running rugby using a field in a wide range. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on Mar 12th in Tokyo and Apr 15th in South Africa.
Successor of Victor Matfield (known as Legendary Lock). Carries balls forcefully, and has a great skill for lineouts. Made 77 tackles (94% accuracy) in 2015 Rugby World Cup games with his gigantic body and has strong endurance in running. South Africa proudly believes that de Jager and Eben Etzebeth (Stormers) are the world’s best young towers.
The only South African team won the Super Rugby Championship (2007, 2009, 2010) with powerful FWs and young talented BKs. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on Mar 26th in Singapore and on Jul. 9th in South Africa.
People saying, he is going to be the best SO of the world after Dan Carter (NZ national). Played a team captain of U20 national of South Africa, and awarded Junior Player of the Year of World Rugby. Ranked 2nd for scoring in 2015 Rugby World Cup by having his accurate goal kicks. Plays for NTT Docomo from 2015 season.
Strive for their first title. Top-class performance of reaching spectators among all groups. Match with HITO-Communications Sunwolves Apr 8th in South Africa and May 14th in Singapore.
Crowned World Rugby Player of the Year when he was 21. Hardworking player who have been beloved from Suntory (Japan Top League) fans. Suffered bacterial meningitis and serious injuries for long periods of time, but revived in the season of 2014. Appearing in 20 games and participating 4 World Cup tournaments is the most in South Africa. Elected for the 2015 World Cup Dream Team member for gaining the most meters.
Appeared best four for 8 times, and 4 times of getting through finals. Well developed team. Match with HITO-Communications Sunwolves on Jul 15th in South Africa.
Utility BK using skillful kicks with extraordinary reflex and flexibility. His FB position is clinched in Springboks. However, he couldn’t participate the game against Japan on the last World Cup tour and SA fans realized the necessity of him. Was a popular player in Cheetahs, but going to play at Sharks after playing as a member of Canon (Japan top league).
Participated Super Rugby for the first time in 2013, by winning a promotion/relegation series and re-entered Super Rugby from 2016 season again. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on Apr 2nd in South Africa.
Played in U19 and U21 SA national team, and served team captain for both teams. Team’s only world class player and experienced 10 caps in test games. Had a surgery on his knee this September, and couldn’t participate the domestic league games last season, so he is aiming for his revival in the Super Rugby.
Joining Super Rugby from coming season. 2/3 of the Argentina national members are in the squad. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on Apr 23rd in Tokyo.
Scored 97 points in 2015 World Cup, and it was the most in the whole tournament. Second person to become the most scorer as an Argentina national member, after Gonzalo Quesada became in 1999. Played in a club team in France for 4 seasons, but he is challenging to Super Rugby as a team captain of Argentina.
There are 5 teams participating in both the New Zealand and Australia Conference. Each teams will play 6 matches (home and away game against 2 other teams in the same conference) per season. The teams in AFRICA 01 CONFERENCE (including SUNWOLVES) will not have any games against New Zealand for the 2016 season.
In the last Super Rugby season (2015 season), Highlanders became a champion of the Super Rugby for the first time in 20 years. They don’t have star players in FW, but they have good BKs from the NZ national team.
First Japanese player in Super Rugby. Appeared in 15 games (2 games as a starter) last season, and made the contribution to the Highlanders’ victory as a sub-member of the team. He is aiming for the starter position of SH which is now his teammate Aaron Smith (NZ national) plays.
Took the 1st place in the last regular season, but been defeated in the final match of the playoffs. Altough they lost Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, they still have lots of star players in All Blacks.
Performed brilliantly in the Rugby World Cup 2015 game as NZ national member just after the debut, by scoring 6 tries, making the most clean breaks and making the most meters in the team. He has been elected to the Man of the Match for twice, and also to the World Cup Dream Team member. Crowned World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2015. Milner-Skudder and his teammate Julian Savea are the best finishers in the team.
Held the championship for two years (2012-13) and became a strong prestigious team. Team member, Sonny Bill Williams, a member of NZ national team is giving priority to the Sevens for the 2016 Olympic games.
Captain of Japan National team which gained 3 wins in the Rugby World Cup 2015, which was remarkable in the Japanese rugby history. Head coach Eddie Jones admired “He worth the best no.6” since he ranked second for gaining, and tackled the most in the pool match. Became the Breakthrough Player of the Year in Chiefs last season or his first Super Rugby season.
Won 7 times of championships, which is the most in Super Rugby. However, they are withdrawing from it since 2008. Teams’ big two, Richie McCaw and Dan Carter left the team, and Crusaders are entering a new era.
Played in NEC, scoring 19 tries in his first year (2011), and set the season try record in Japan. It was his first year to play in the Japanese top league also. His world-class scoring power has been proved in those games in Crusaders. He showed off his existence in Rugby World Cup 2015 games, by making powerful running, and accurate kicks.
The first Super Rugby champion, but hanging low recently. Jonathan Umanga who used to play as a team captain in NZ national team is now in charge of the team’s head coach and aiming for the revival.
Awarded NZ’s player of the year in 2011. He now plays as no.6 of All Blacks, after his play in Toyota (Japan top league team) for two seasons. Contributed to All Blacks for winning the championship in 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup games as a starting member. An essential member in Blues, who encourages his teammates with his hard works.
Became a champion in 2014. Also won a Australasian group championship last season. Kotaro Matsushima, a member of Japan national used to play in this team. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on Jul 2nd in Tokyo.
Superb player in any sport that uses elliptical balls. After playing in rugby league (13s) and Australian football, he is still growing up in rugby union (15s). He contributed to winning the second place in the World Cup 2015 as FB of the Australian national team. However, his ankle injury from the World Cup prevents him from playing in Top League. NTT docomo took off his name from the players registration. He is trying to come back to the field around March.
Harumichi Tatekawa, Japan National Team player, challenged to Super Rugby in this team. Since the team has well balanced members, they have been in best 4 on the tournament for the past 3 years. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on May 28th in Australia.
A ball hunter who came back from the long time suffering on his knee injury. World’s leading strength on breakdowns. Motivated team to get through to the finals in 2015 Rugby World Cup games by succeeding 17 times of turnover as Australia’s no.8. He was elected as a World Cup Dream Team member, and a nominee of the Player of the Year.
Rebels has the least history in the Australasian group. Shota Horie, Male Sa’u, and Keita Inagaki started their Super Rugby career in this team. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on Mar 19th in Tokyo.
A member of NZ national team who won the 2011 Rugby World Cup championship. Scored 10 tries in his 2nd year in Canon (Japan top league) last year, and elected as one of the best 15 members of Japan top league. This world class penetrator has played in Highlanders and Reds, and will be playing for Rebels in coming 2016 season.
Ayumu Goromaru a member of Japan national team will join the team from the coming season. A second year roster Hendrick Tui is also playing for this team. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on May 21st in Australia.
Vice captain and FB of Japan national team. Scored 58 points including a try in the game against South Africa. Elected as a member of 2015 World Cup Dream Team. Rugby is now very popular again in Japan with a contribution of his “Goromaru-pose” which is nominated as a “Buzzword of the Year Contest”. After spending Top League season in Yamaha, he starts his challenge to Super Rugby.
Akihito Yamada a member of Japan national team, used to be a member of the team. Scoring will be the key to the playoffs of coming season. Match with HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES on 7th of May in Tokyo.
The only member in the Force that experienced the second place in the 2015 Rugby World Cup as an Australia national team member. Recorded 4 tries in 47 test matches, and those are from the World Cup games in 2015 and in 2011. Back rower with strong penetration. Extended his contract with Force until 2018, and also a member of Panasonic (Japan top league) after the World Cup games.