Sunwolves coach Jamie Joseph says his side’s biggest challenge is the lack of a break between the Japanese Top League and Super Rugby seasons.
The Japanese team is looking for an improved performance in 2018, having finished 18th and 17th on the combined log in their previous two campaigns.
‘It is not perfect and it hasn’t been fixed,’ Joseph told Kyodo News when asked about his team’s Super Rugby pre-season. ‘It’s a bit better than last year by about 12 days. But we are competing against teams that have six weeks off, two months of pre-season [training] and three [warm-up] games.
‘Our preparation is two weeks in Kyushu, one week in Tokyo and then we have to be ready for the Brumbies [on 24 February].’
However, Joseph is confident they can put these issues aside and prove their doubters wrong.
‘Mentally, we can’t go into a Super Rugby season worrying about the lack of preparation and how tired we are. For us to win games, we have to be prepared to deal with those situations.
‘Our game plan is coming together quickly because the attitude is great and the players are learning quickly. And the players seem to be getting better every day. But we have to build a team before we build a game plan. If we don’t have a team, then we have nothing.’
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