Ex-All Black to coach Sunwolves

Mark Hammett (@SuperRugby - Twitter)
Mark Hammett (@SuperRugby - Twitter)

Cape Town - Yoshitaka Tashiro, representative director of Japan Super Rugby Association (JSRA), announced the Sunwolves' head coach, players and revealed the team's jerseys in front of a large media contingent gathered in Tokyo on Monday.

As preparations continue for the team's historic Round 1 clash against the Lions at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium on February 27, the JRSA has confirmed that New Zealander Mark Hammett will lead the side in their maiden Super Rugby campaign.

Hammett is no stranger to Super Rugby, having served an assistant at the Crusaders (2007-10) and head coach at the Hurricanes (2011-14) before taking up the Director of Rugby role at the Cardiff Blues (2014-15).

He also has 81 caps to his name at the Crusaders where he played from 1996-2003 and 29 for the All Blacks throughout a Test career spanning four years.

Hammett inherits a list of 34 players that includes 15 with Test experience and 10 of the Brave Blossoms squad that took the world by storm at the recent Rugby World Cup.

Playing in a South African Conference alongside the Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers, the Sunwolves start with four home games (two in Singapore), providing local fans with every opportunity to embrace the team in their inaugural Super Rugby campaign.

The Sunwolves play each team in their group twice, teams in the other South African Conference (Jaguares, Kings, Lions, Sharks) once, the Australian Conference (Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs) once and will face the New Zealand sides in 2017.

The team will wear a red/orange primary strip that represents the rising sun while the grey alternate signifies the speed and fighting spirit of the wolf that is fiercely emblazoned across both jerseys.

The JRFU also unveiled the team's official website which contains further information and ticketing details.

Details for the Sunwolves' three home games in Singapore (v Cheetahs, Bulls, Stormers) will be released in due course.

2016 Sunwolves squad:

Ryuhei Arita - hooker

Timothy Bond - lock

Derek Carpenter - centre

Andrew Durutalo - loose forward

Ziun Gu - prop

Shohei Hirano - prop

Atsushi Hiwasa - scrumhalf

Shota Horie - hooker

Yoshiya Hosoda - loose forward

Keita Inagaki - prop

Daisuke Inoue - scrumhalf

Shinnosuke Kakinaga - prop

Takeshi Kizu - hooker

Yamamoto Koki - prop

Faatiga Lemalu - loose forward

Tomas Leonardi - loose forward

Amanaki Lotoahea - Wing

Shinya Makabe - lock

Paea Mifi Poseti - centre

Masataka Mikami - prop

Liaki Moli - lock

Tsuyoshi Murata - loose forward

Hitoshi Ono - lock

Tusi Pisi - flyhalf

Eddie Quirk - loose forward

Yusataka Sasakura - fullback

John Stewart - wing

Yu Tamura - centre

Harumichi Tatekawa - flyhalf

Riaan Viljoen - fullback

Akihito Yamada - wing

Ryohei Yamanaka - centre

Hajime Yamashita - fullback

Yuki Yatomi - scrumhalf


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