SANZAAR to help struggling Sunwolves
Cape Town - SANZAAR have confirmed that they will be lending a helping hand to Japan's struggling Sunwolves in Super Rugby 2018.
The fixtures for the new-look tournament, which has gone back to a 15-team format, were released on Thursday.
READ: SA CONFERENCE TO KICK OFF SUPER RUGBY 2018
The new tournament has seen the Western Force from Australia and the Southern Kings and Cheetahs from South Africa cut in an attempt to make the competition a more attractive product.
But, somewhat controversially, the Sunwolves have retained their place in the tournament despite having won just three of their 30 Super Rugby matches over the last two years.
SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos on Tuesday admitted that it was important for the Sunwolves to offer more competitiveness in the competition.
has been missing is the rugby conversation as we cannot hide away from the high
performance and financial realities of the game in the markets in which we
play," Marinos said via a statement.
"The teams that have not performed need to start producing a more
attractive brand of rugby that re-engages fans, produces competitive results
and winning performances.
"We have a great tournament but what is needed now is
the talking to be done on the field as enough opinion and perspective has been
provided off the field."
SANZAAR, said Marinos, would be doing all they could to help the Sunwolves.
"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 (JRFU) to the entity known as Japan Super Rugby
"SANZAAR will be taking a more proactive role within
its operating structures."