Hammett to join Highlanders

Sunwolves coach Mark Hammett will leave the Japanese franchise at the end of the season.

The official announcement comes rather belatedly, since Hammett was named Highlanders assistant coach for 2017 on 9 June. 

'I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the Sunwolves in our first season of Super Rugby and it will be sad to leave behind good friends, players and staff, and of course the memories which include our historic win against the Jaguares at Chichibu Stadium,' said Hammett. 

'I am extremely proud of what the Sunwolves have achieved on and off the field, and I believe I leave the team in a strong position where they can improve and evolve into a highly competitive side.'

The Sunwolves have not yet found a replacement for Hammett, who was also Japan's interim coach for the June Tests. 

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams