Kiwi Tiatia appointed as new Sunwolves coach

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 08:11
Large filo tiatia 800

NEWS: All Black Filo Tiatia will take over from countryman Mark Hammett as head coach of Japan's Sunwolves Super Rugby side, league officials said on Monday.

The 45-year-old, who acted as assistant to Hammett in the Tokyo franchise's inaugural season, is set to ink a two-year deal, according to Japanese Super Rugby.

Tiatia, who has also played and coached at Japan Top League side Toyota Verblitz, is expected to be formally unveiled by the Sunwolves later this week.

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

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

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 Tokyo outfit's lack of depth as "embarrassing".

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
Mon, 03 April 2017
Maties v UJ 14h30 Stellenbosch
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 17h00 Pretoria
Thu, 06 April 2017
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 4 4 0 0 17
Cheetahs 5 2 0 3 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Jaguares 5 4 0 1 18
Sharks 5 4 0 1 17
Kings 5 1 0 4 5