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

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Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
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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