The Sunwolves have confirmed that they are in discussions to participate in Rugby Australia’s proposed domestic Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
Rugby Australia on Monday said in their return-to-play strategy that they were keen to include both the Western Force and Sunwolves in a domestic competition involving their four Super Rugby clubs.
The 2020 Super Rugby season was suspended due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and looks unlikely to resume as international travel bans remain in place in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
New Zealand has announced its own five-team tournament will get under way in mid-June and Rugby Australia are looking to follow suit and get their players back on to the field.
While the Force have cooled talk on their potential involvement in the competition, Sunwolves chief executive Yuji Watase said he would be happy for the team to take part and base themselves in Australia.
‘Yes, we’ve been discussing with Rugby Australia about restarting the competition and they’ve been helping us to proceed with our involvement,’ Watase told Reuters.
The 2020 season was set to be the Sunwolves’ last in Super Rugby after Sanzaar and the Japanese Rugby Union failed to agree terms on the team’s future participation.
‘This is to be the last season, and we definitely would like to leave a legacy,’ Watase said, adding that he did not expect the Sunwolves to be included in any future Super Rugby tournaments.
‘I believe participating in this competition is a different story from Super Rugby in the future. Sanzaar is the one to decide the future for Super Rugby.’
South African halfback pair Rudy Paige and Garth April – as well as props Conraad van Vuuren and Hencus van Wyk, lock Justin Downey and centre JJ Engelbrecht – were all part of the Sunwolves squad for the 2020 Super Rugby season.
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