Sunwolves unleash new Saffa duo against Brumbies

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 05:40
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: South Africans Pieter Labuschagne and Grant Hattingh will both make their Sunwolves debut against the Brumbies in Tokyo on Saturday.

Both players previously played Super Rugby for South African sides and they will look to add much-needed physicality to the Sunwolves side.

Hattingh previously played for the Lions and Bulls in Super Rugby, while Labuschagne started his Super Rugby career with the Cheetahs before also running out for the Bulls.

"It will be a challenging game for us," said head coach Jamie Joseph.

"I anticipate that they [Brumbies] are going to put a lot of pressure on the set pieces like scrum, and line-out. Plus, they have tough backs that are really hard to stop. We need to stop their momentum from the source. 

"Committing penalties gives the opponent a chance, so even in a tough situation, we have to be tough and smart. This is going to be [Ryoto] Nakamura's first game in the Super Rugby. Although he didn't get a chance to play in a test match last November, he has been showing some good performances for Suntory, and he came to the Sunwolves with the confidence and in the best condition. 

"[Kazuki] Himeno, also will be making the first cap in the Super Rugby, played well in Toyota. He can cover a lot and keeps on surprising me. I am expecting him to keep on developing in the tough games.

"In some stage of competition everyone's back against the wall, and we have just started. We must keep moving forward."

Sunwolves: 15 Jason Emery, 14 Lomano Lava Lemeki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Yutaka Nagare (captain), 8 Willem Britz, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Kazuki Himeno, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Ho Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.         
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Edward Quirk, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Sione Teaupa. 

Date: Saturday, February 24
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 13.15 (15.15 AEST; 04.15 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4