New Zealander Mark Hammett was today unveiled as the Japan Sunwolves coach for Super Rugby 2016, in a landmark day for the new franchise.
Until Monday, no playing or coaching appointments had been announced for the team, set to join the competition in February.
That all changed with the announcement of Hammett as head coach, as well as a squad of 34 players, including 10 who featured for the national team in this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Hammett has previously served as head coach for the Hurricanes and was also an assistant at the Crusaders.
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Japan will be included in one of two South African conferences, alongside the Bulls, Stormers and Cheetahs.
It’s not all Japanese players in the squad, with former Queensland Reds flanker Ed Quirk named in the group on Monday.
The Sunwolves open their Super Rugby campaign on February 27, against the Cheetahs.
They meet an Australian franchise for the first time on March 19, when they host the Rebels.