Super Rugby 2017

Fulcrum29

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I'm not sure Cheika is the right coach, tbh. McKenzie was, but he got caught up in that moronic Quade Cooper gaffe.
Where did he end up? He continued well on what Deans put into place. I would like to McKenzie and Deans back on the international stage. I am still in the opinion that Japan will make the best inroads with Deans and Suntory's head coach at the charge.
 

OrbitalDawn

Ulysses Everett McGill
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Where did he end up? He continued well on what Deans put into place. I would like to McKenzie and Deans back on the international stage. I am still in the opinion that Japan will make the best inroads with Deans and Suntory's head coach at the charge.
Think he rejoined the private sector. From 2015:

https://www.foxsports.com.au/breaki...k=d4ebf7350c616db30ab2c99917f860e7-1502401344

A town planning graduate from the University of NSW, McKenzie earlier this year returned to his roots by taking up a job as projects chief for multi-millionaire Kevin Maloney in his Sydney-based Tulla Group investment company.
 
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Force axed from Super Rugby

The Australian Rugby Union announced its intention to axe the Perth-based Western Force side from Super Rugby on Friday but the protracted saga may not be over yet with Rugby Western Australia pondering a legal challenge to the decision.

The ARU said in April that they would cut either the Force or the Melbourne Rebels from Super Rugby next season as the competition contracted from 18 to 15 teams because of falling revenues and fan interest.

"Our decision to exit the Western Force has been guided primarily by financial outcomes," ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said in a statement.

"This is a sad day for rugby, especially for Western Force fans. We accept that there will be anger and resentment over this decision and we sympathise with those fans. We sincerely hope that they are not lost to the game forever."

RugbyWA responded almost immediately with a statement saying it would pursue "every possible means", including legal action, to ensure the Western Force remained in the competition.

"RugbyWA is considering all options including bringing urgent proceedings in the Supreme Court of (New South Wales), and legal action relating to the circumstances which led it to enter into the alliance agreement with the ARU," it read.

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest warned the ARU earlier this week that he would be first in line to fight the embattled governing body if it cut Western Force.

With Forrest throwing his weight behind the team, the battle over the future of the Force could still be dragged out in a long legal battle the cash-strapped ARU can ill afford.

The Force went to arbitration with the ARU last week arguing the alliance agreement they signed when they were bailed out by the ARU last year guaranteed them Super Rugby until the end of the current broadcasting deal in 2020.

The ARU contended that the contraction of the competition for next year effectively meant there was a new broadcast agreement in place for 2018.

CHAMPIONS SPARED

Against a background of widespread dissatisfaction with the 18-team format, governing body SANZAAR earlier this year agreed to remove three teams from the competition.

South Africa have already culled the Cheetahs and Kings, who have both announced they will move to play in the European Pro-league.

The ARU quickly ruled out cutting previous Super Rugby champion teams the New South Wales Waratahs, ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds, leaving a choice between the Force and Rebels.

Rebels owner Andrew Cox confirmed last weekend that he had transferred ownership to state governing body Victorian Rugby Union (VRU), declaring the move had "secured" the team's future.

The Force were an expansion team aimed at spreading the geographic imprint of rugby to the Australia's west coast when they joined the competition in 2006.

They have never reached the playoffs and the ARU gradually moved to the view that having five Super Rugby teams was stretching Australia's rugby resources too thinly.

The Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) said Friday was the "darkest day in the history of Australian rugby" with the ARU "abandoning the game's national footprint".

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver, who had already confirmed he would not seek reappointment when his contract expired next year, said he would now be leaving as soon as a replacement could be found.

"We're dealing with the process of cutting a Super Rugby team and that's been a harrowing process," he told a news conference.

"It's a good time for renewal and I think we need a fresh set of eyes."
https://www.supersport.com/rugby/super-rugby/news/170811/Force_axed_from_Super_Rugby
 

Cray

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https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/western-force-supporters-will-snub-wallaby-jerseys-in-favour-of-a-sea-of-blue-in-test-against-springboks/news-story/fee454abe7f7524004f99727738e3f86

THE ARU’S decision to axe the Western Force will create an unprecedented “away” Test for the Wallabies in Perth next month.

Furious Force supporters have already started asking for refunds on tickets purchased for the September 9 Test against South Africa at nib Stadium, while others have resolved to snub Wallaby gold in favour of blue Force supporter gear.
Lots of unhappy people....
 

Badprop_za

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ARU is not handling the situation particularly well. Lots of upset fans. With all this noise around, focusing on Rugby Champs will be difficult.

Not that I am complaining though.
 

OrbitalDawn

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Matt Hodge started his Super Rugby career with the Force when they entered the competition, and retired this year, just as they exit. Poetic, in a way.
 

Fulcrum29

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I trust this translates well with the Sunwolves 2018 season,

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby...eat-challenge-in-new-zealand-provincial-rugby

Japanese assistant coach Atsushi Tanabe takes on 'great challenge' in New Zealand provincial rugby

New Stags assistant coach Atsushi Tanabe is on a mission to learn, but at the same time he hopes he can provide a positive impact on Southland's quest for success in 2017.

As a player Tanabe played 15 seasons for top Japanese club the Panasonic Wild Knights at fullback and was also a Japanese international player.

After retiring from playing at 35-years-old four years ago he quickly switched to coaching, initially with the Wild Knights.

He is now an assistant coach for both the Sunwolves, Japan's Super Rugby team, and the national team under head coach Jamie Joseph.

With the Sunwolves campaign finished and Japan's next test matches in November, Joseph approached Stags coach Hoani Macdonald about the possibility of Tanabe joining Southland as an assistant coach.

The offer came at no cost to Rugby Southland.

Tanabe met with Macdonald and fellow Stags assistant coach Jason Kawau when he visited Invercargill with the Sunwolves in May and they agreed to welcome him on board.

The extra set of eyes and hands was viewed as a boost for the Stags.

Tanabe is eager to improve his skills as a coach and he felt a provincial team in New Zealand would provide an ideal place.

"I'm keen to look at how a proffesional team works as a team, they are the sort of skills I want to keep developing. Just being able to work in a different environment with different coaches and different people.

"It's a great challenge for me," he said.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...y-rival-indo-pacific-league-aru-a7929951.html

Western Force lose appeal against ARU as billionaire miner Andrew Forrest creates new six-team Indo-Pacific league

Force lose appeal against their removal from Super Rugby, but team could continue in Forrest's new competition that will span multiple countries

Billionaire mining tycoon Andrew Forrest will set up a rebel competition spanning the Indo-Pacific region after Australia's Western Force lost their court appeal to remain in Super Rugby on Tuesday.

Forrest has underwritten the Force's legal fight to remain in Super Rugby but angrily declared the side would live on in his new tournament, which he claimed would challenge the primacy of the southern hemisphere's incumbent competition.

"This is the beginning of the new Force, this is the beginning of the new Indo-Pacific competition and I am delighted to be an instigator of it," Forrest told reporters in Perth on Tuesday.
Rumours have it that this competition has already started to take shape. One particular rumour indicate that Singapore may host one team, which team is still a debate, but this will mean that SANZAAR will need to dump Singapore as an Japan home ground which is good in my opinion, but I see many pundits supporting SANZAAR to keep Singapore as a touring destination. How many people attended games in Singapore, huh SANZAAR?
 

Fulcrum29

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Don't see people abandoning Super Rugby for it, but hey, good luck to 'em.
Agree, but it will give exposure where due. Hong Kong has also been named, they have the money, but no stage. This is a opportunity, and also a cut into the Asian market. As a business model, this may be lucrative.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...-set-for-marquee-players-less-travelling.html

EXCLUSIVE: Rugby: Restructured Sunwolves set for marquee players, less travelling

Japan's Super Rugby side the Sunwolves will be looking to put quality ahead of quantity both on and off the field as they head into their third season, which is set to kick off on Feb. 24, 2018.

Having been given the all clear by SANZAAR -- the body that runs Southern Hemisphere rugby -- to remain in business until at least 2020, when Super Rugby's current broadcast deal expires, informed sources have told Kyodo News that the side still needs to meet certain annual Key Performance Indicators, both in the way the team operates off the field and plays on it.

But a restructuring in the way the team will be run, an increased playing budget, a smaller squad and a much-reduced travel schedule should, it is hoped, see the team become more competitive.

...

Failure to fulfill the promises made by the Sunwolves before entering the competition -- that they would be coached by Eddie Jones, with a number of big name overseas stars joining Japan's top players -- meant the side was treading on thin ice.

But the sources have told Kyodo News a compromise has been reached that will allow SANZAAR to have more direct involvement with running the Japan Super Rugby Association.

It is understood a member of SANZAAR will now sit on the Sunwolves committee, which is set for some serious structural reform as it recruits "rugby specific people who know what success is."

...

A doubling of the player budget will allow the team to recruit some marquee players from overseas and it is expected four world-class players will put pen to paper in the coming weeks.

With player management one of Jospeh and Tiatia's main concerns, the Sunwolves used 56 players in their second season.

That number will be cut to 40 next season, as the Sunwolves look to further their agreements with Top League sides to ensure players are not overworked.

...

While it is, at this stage, expected that the Sunwolves will still play three "home" games in Singapore, the team will be spending much less time in the air, with one two-week trip to New Zealand and one two-week trip to South Africa on the cards, as well as two two-week sojourns to Australia.

"We will still have to meet the KPIs," one of the sources said. "But the participation agreement now means we are in a much better place heading to 2020."
They will still play in Singapore which is big mistake in my opinion. It has also already been announced that outside recruitment has been tabled which is good concerning the management, but they need to concentrate on an Japan-eligible player base.
 

OrbitalDawn

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Hopefully the changes make them more competitive. Both seasons so far have felt like they've got the potential to put up decent season performances, but end up failing because of noticeable off field problems.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...en-2018-season-against-brumbies-in-tokyo.html

Rugby: Sunwolves to open 2018 season against Brumbies in Tokyo

The Sunwolves will open their 2018 Super Rugby campaign on Feb. 24 in Tokyo against the Canberra-based Brumbies, it was announced Thursday.

SANZAAR -- the organization that runs rugby in the Southern Hemisphere -- has reduced the competition from 18 teams to 15 with the Sunwolves moving into the Australia Conference from the South Africa Conference.

The new format will see the Sunwolves play the four other Australian teams home-and-away, and take on four sides from New Zealand and South Africa, respectively.

Five of the Sunwolves' home games will be played at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, two at Singapore's National Stadium with the May 19 game against South Africa's Stormers at a venue still to be confirmed.

In announcing the schedule, SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos also alluded to some of the structural changes that the Sunwolves have been asked to implement.

"In addition to the decisions that were taken around the Australian and South African Conferences, SANZAAR has also been working hard with Japan and the Sunwolves," he said.

"Their performances over the first two seasons have been disappointing and improvement is required. A structural reform has been implemented where responsibility for the Sunwolves will move from the Japan Rugby Football Union to the entity known as Japan Super Rugby Association. SANZAAR will be taking a more proactive role within its operating structures."
Rumour has it that the JSRA is an Kiwi board. I wonder whether Jamie Joseph will be sitting on the JSRA? Oh well, much to happen and be announced up to the 24th February. The Sunwolves still has an empty 2018 roster, but the Top League looks phenomenal this year.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...r-from-tiatia-as-head-coach-of-sunwolves.html

Rugby: Joseph takes over from Tiatia as head coach of Sunwolves

Japan coach Jamie Joseph will replace Filo Tiatia as head coach of the Sunwolves, the side announced Friday.

The move follows the consolidation of the team's operations and an alignment of high-performance structures, following a review of their first two seasons in Super Rugby.

...

"In recent weeks following this restructure, JSRA has made considerable changes to the organization to comply with the conditions of participation in the tournament," the team said in a press release.

"Following this change, current Sunwolves coach Filo Tiatia has decided to pursue a coaching career elsewhere."

...

Joseph coached the Highlanders to the 2015 Super Rugby title and will now double up as coach of both the Brave Blossoms and the Sunwolves.

"Firstly I would like to thank Filo for his huge contribution to the Sunwolves and Japanese rugby," the former New Zealand and Japan international said.

"Filo has been an integral part in the development of our Japanese players as we prepare for the World Cup in 2019."

"As the new head coach, I understand the responsibility of coaching at this level. I can't wait for next season. We have a huge challenge ahead of us but I've been here before with the Highlanders."

While the appointment of Joseph means he will have direct control over the amount of training and playing time the Sunwolves and national team members have, it is understood that the Super Rugby team will have a number of "marquee" players next season that will not be eligible for the Brave Blossoms.

This is to ensure that the team meets some of the annual key performance indicators imposed by SANZAAR.
 

Fulcrum29

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When the Super Rugby 2018 thread starts, can whoever started it post a link to it here, please?
Thanks!
The schedule has been released about a week or two ago. I will start a new thread, don’t know whether someone has already posted it but I will have a quick look.
 
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