Kiwi has gigantic goal for Sunwolves

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 08:15
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The new coach of Japan's Sunwolves Super Rugby side said he was targeting a top-five finish next season, despite the team being on the wrong end of multiple hidings in recent years.

New Zealander Jamie Joseph, who also coaches Japan's national team, told reporters that fans could expect a "much stronger team than we've had in the past two seasons", as he unveiled a new squad.

Among a dozen new faces presented were South African-born flank Wimpie van der Walt and Jaba Bregvadze, a Georgian hooker who has played top-flight rugby in England and France.

Joseph also vowed his team would play "consistent and attractive rugby ... rugby that people want to come and watch and support,"

Bregvadze would give the team much-needed support in the set-piece, said Joseph, who also highlighted defense as a major area for improvement, as the team leaked 671 points last season.

The Tokyo-based Sunwolves are playing in the five-team Australian conference this season and are replacing Western Force who were controversially dumped out of the competition as the format downsized.

They have suffered drubbings including  17-92, 17-83 and 7-94 over the past two seasons and Super Rugby's chief executive Andy Marinos has described their performance as "disappointing" and said, "improvement is necessary."

The Sunwolves have just come off another horror season in the southern hemisphere's elite club competition, winning just two games.

They won only one of 15 games the year before, in a chastening debut season.

They open their campaign on February 24 against the Brumbies.

The Sunwolves said they were aiming to be Super Rugby champions within five years.

Sunwolves 2018 Squad: Keita Inagaki, Aseali Ai Valu, Jiwon Koo, Ruan Smith, Craig Millar, Jaba Bregvadze, Shota Horie, Grant Hatingh, Kazuki Himeno, Uwe Helu, Sam Wykes, Edward Quirk, Shunsuke Nunomaki, Wimpie van der Walt, Willem Britz, Michael Leith, Fumiakki Tanaka, Yu Tamura, Hayden Parker, Harumichi Tatakawa, Timothy Lafaele, Gerhard van den Heever, Kenki Fukuoka, Akihito Yamada, Lamano Lava Lemeki, Robbo Robinson.

 

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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