Yoshitaka Tashiro, representative director of Japan Super Rugby Association (JSRA), has announced the Sunwolves' head coach, players and revealed the team's jerseys in front of a large media contingent gathered in Tokyo.
As preparations continue for the team's historic Round 1 clash against the Lions at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium on February 27, the JRSA has confirmed that Mark Hammett will lead the side in its maiden Super Rugby campaign. Hammett - who is no stranger to Super Rugby - served an an assistant at the Crusaders (2007-10) and head coach at the Hurricanes (2011-14) before taking up the Director of Rugby role at the Cardiff Blues (2014-15). He also has 81 caps to his name at the Crusaders where he played from 1996-2003 and 29 for the All Blacks throughout a Test career spanning four years.
Hammett inherits a list of 34 players that includes 15 with Test experience and 10 of the Brave Blossoms squad that took the world by storm at the recent Rugby World Cup.
Playing in a South African Conference alongside the Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers, the Sunwolves start with four home games (two in Singapore), providing local fans with every opportunity to embrace the team in its inaugural Super Rugby campaign. The Sunwolves play each team in their group twice, teams in the other South African Conference (Jaguares, Kings, Lions, Sharks) once, the Australian Conference (Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs) once and will face the New Zealand teams in 2017.
The team will wear a red/orange primary strip that represents the rising sun while the grey alternate signifies the speed and fighting spirit of the wolf that is fiercely emblazoned across both jerseys.
Also unveiled by the JRFU today is the team's official website which contains further information and ticketing details, ranging from Y1000-10,000 (A$11-$115, NZ$12-$120, R124-1240, AR$108-1082).
Details for the Sunwolves' three home games in Singapore (vs Cheetahs, Bulls, Stormers) will be released in due course.
Sunwolves' 2016 Super Rugby Squad
|NAME||POSITION||D.O.B.||CM||KG||TEST CAPS||JAPANESE CLUB|
|Ryuhei Arita||Hooker||21/03/89||176||104||9||Coca-Cola Red Sparks|
|Derek Carpenter||Centre||26/07/88||183||94||0||Toyota Verblitz|
|Andrew Durutalo||Back Row||25/10/87||187||102||0||-|
|Ziun Gu||Prop||20/07/94||184||122||0||Takushoku University|
|Shohei Hirano||Prop||3/08/93||178||125||0||Tokai University|
|Atsushi Hiwasa||Scrumhalf||22/05/87||166||72||51||Suntory Sungoliath|
|Shota Horie||Hooker||21/01/86||180||104||42||Panasonic Wild Knights|
|Yoshiya Hosoda||Back Row||5/08/87||192||100||0||NEC Green Rockets|
|Keita Inagaki||Prop||2/06/90||186||116||10||Panasonic Wild Knights|
|Daisuke Inoue||Scrumhalf||16/11/89||173||81||0||Kubota Spears|
|Shinnosuke Kakinaga||Prop||19/12/91||180||115||6||Suntory Sungoliath|
|Takeshi Kizu||Hooker||15/07/88||183||115||41||Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers|
|Yamamoto Koki||Prop||29/10/90||181||116||0||Yamaha Jubilo|
|Faatiga Lemalu||Back Row||17/04/89||201||115||0||Munakata Sanix Blues|
|Tomas Leonardi||Back Row||1/07/87||190||108||0||-|
|Amanaki Lotoahea||Wing||14/04/90||191||107||0||Ricoh Black Rams|
|Shinya Makabe||Lock||26/03/87||192||119||34||Suntory Sungoliath|
|Paea Mifi Poseti||Centre||6/07/87||178||108||0||NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes|
|Masataka Mikami||Prop||4/06/88||178||115||32||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
|Tsuyoshi Murata||Back Row||15/12/88||185||103||5||NEC Green Rockets|
|Hitoshi Ono||Lock||6/05/78||192||105||96||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
|Tusi Pisi||Flyhalf||18/06/82||183||91||0||Suntory Sungoliath|
|Yusataka Sasakura||Fullback||4/08/88||186||92||0||Panasonic Wild Knights|
|Yu Tamura||Centre||9/01/89||181||92||35||NEC Green Rockets|
|Harumichi Tatekawa||Flyhalf||2/12/89||180||95||43||Kubota Spears|
|Akihito Yamada||Wing||26/07/85||182||88||15||Panasonic Wild Knights|
|Ryohei Yamanaka||Centre||22/06/88||188||95||4||Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers|
|Hajime Yamashita||Fullback||14/06/92||180||85||0||Toyota Shokki Shuttles|
|Yuki Yatomi||Scrumhalf||16/02/85||176||82||16||Yamaha Jubilo|
Sunwolves Social Media
Website (Japanese): http://super-japanrugby.com/
Website (English): http://super-japanrugby.com/en/