All Black Tiatia linked to Sunwolves job

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:51
Large filo tiatia 800

NEWS: All Black Filo Tiatia is set to take over from countryman Mark Hammett as head coach of Japan's Sunwolves Super Rugby side, local media reported Friday.

Japanese Super Rugby officials told AFP they could not confirm Tiatia's appointment but hoped to make a formal announcement by the end of September.

Englishman Ben Ryan, who led Fiji to gold at the Rio Olympics last month, has also been linked to the Sunwolves job.

Hammett, who has endured a troubled first season with the Sunwolves, will return to New Zealand at the end of the season to take up a role as assistant coach of the Highlanders.

Hammett's appointment by the Sunwolves was one of several to be made alarmingly late, giving the side very little time to prepare for the 2016 campaign.

As predicted, the Sunwolves have struggled, compiling a record of one win, one draw and 13 defeats in the Southern Hemisphere's elite franchise competition.

They hit rock bottom in a 17-92 humiliation by South Africa's Cheetahs in April, prompting criticism from former Japan coach Eddie Jones among others.

The Sunwolves joined the competition following Japan's astonishing performance at last year's World Cup where the Brave Blossoms won three pool games, including a 34-32 shock upset over two-time champions South Africa.

But delays bringing in players and coaching staff sabotaged the team's preparations while Jones, now in charge of England, slammed the Sunwolves' lack of depth as "embarrassing".

Japanese rugby chiefs have made no secret of their desire for the country's top players to turn out for the Sunwolves.

But despite bumper crowds supporting the team, several marquee Japan players snubbed the Sunwolves to sign for other clubs on more lucrative contracts, including Japan captain Michael Leitch and fullback Ayumu Goromaru.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 22 September 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 15h30 Bloemfontein
Cheetahs v Leinster 18h00 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Munster 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Gloucester v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Kingsholm
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 23 September 2017
Sharks v Blue Bulls 13h00 Durban
Bath v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Sale Sharks 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 14h15 Sportsground
Western Province v Griquas 15h15 Newlands
Kings v Zebre 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28