Former Sunwolves coach Tony Brown hopes he hasn’t seen the last of the Japanese franchise’s involvement in Vodacom Super Rugby.
Brown is currently working as one of the Highlanders’ assistant coaches, but he headed up the Sunwolves in 2019.
If was confirmed last year that 2020 would be the Sunwolves’ last season in the competition, but the Covid-19 outbreak meant this year’s campaign stopped prematurely and thus ended the Sunwolves’ Super Rugby stay.
The Japanese team suffered another blow this week when its proposed involvement in the Australian Super Rugby spin-off tournament fell through.
But Brown believes all is not lost for the Sunwolves and hopes his former team can return to Super Rugby in the near future.
‘It is a bit disappointing for the Sunwolves supporters because they get amazing support in Japan. The stadiums are full and Japanese rugby is on a bit of a high after the World Cup, so it is a bit tough for Sunwolves and Japanese rugby,’ Brown said.
‘Hopefully, something good comes out of everything moving forward around potential changes to the competition. Who knows? But I’m hoping that Japan Rugby and the Sunwolves are not ruled out of potential changes.’
Brown pitched the idea of a conference system where the top two teams from Japan could join in a Super Rugby playoff series.
‘I think the strength of Japanese rugby is definitely there. On their day Japan can get up and beat any team in the world, so I think the challenge for Japan is being able to do it week after week.’
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