Super Rugby
Japan's Sunwolves closing in on new coach ahead of Super Rugby bow
ESPN Staff
November 25, 2015
© (Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

SANZAR's new CEO Andy Marinos says Japan's new Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves will be ready for the start of the 2016 season and has revealed they are closing in on a new coach.

The Sunwolves have contracted some of the Japan players who starred in the 2015 Rugby World Cup but despite not having a head coach in place with the tournament just three months away, Marinos is confident they will be ready for their opener against the Lions on February 27.

He is also similarly confident about the Kings' prospects. The South Africa Rugby Union has recently stepped in to take control of the Kings amid reports they are struggling financially. But Marinos is confident they will be ready and has tipped the new franchises to cause some upsets.

Talking about the Sunwolves, Marinos said: "They have contracted a core group of around 24 to 25 Japanese players. We expect they will finalise their coach in the next week or two. And there are obviously a few players who are waiting to understand who that coach is before they commit. We expect to see a lot more traction in the next week or two."

He added: "With the Kings and Japan it's a hell of a lot of the unknown - how are they going to adapt to the travel, to the schedule. But in saying that I've learned one thing in rugby you can never start writing off teams before the competition gets under way and I have no doubt that any one of those teams who may not start the season off well will have a huge upset in their ranks at some stage."

© ESPN Staff

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