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, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9