ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Sunwolves left out in the cold as Australian Super Rugby reboot can't make it happen

BY Grant Constable  ·  Thursday May 21, 2020

While rugby is set to kick off again in New Zealand with only local teams next month, Australia’s proposed Super Rugby competition will not feature the Sunwolves, with time and logistics counting against them.

ADVERTISEMENT

All parties were hopeful that the Tokyo team could join the four current Australian Super Rugby sides, as well as the Western Force, in a 10-week competition starting July 4, but it’s now highly unlikely.

With international borders remaining closed, Rugby Australia can’t afford to wait on government approval for the Sunwolves, who would then have to be quarantined for two weeks, pushing back a competition re-start which already trails the NRL and AFL.

RA will already likely have to accommodate the Perth-based Force on the eastern seaboard.

“Things are progressing really well with the Force but I think the international border restrictions are probably going to make it pretty hard for Japan,” said Melbourne Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson, who also sits on RA’s return to play committee.

“At one stage they were thinking about using their Australian and New Zealand players and some Japanese players but I think that the more they worked through the process the harder it is looking.”

The last of the Australian sides resumed training this week and are hopeful of ramping it up from next Monday to include larger group sizes – up from 10 – and contact work.

ADVERTISEMENT

Slated to resume full training from June 8, they are now hopeful of bringing that forward one week.

Meanwhile, Stephenson said his club was confident of keeping star Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete, who has been targeted for a return to the NRL.

The reigning John Eales medallist is also in the sights of cashed up European and Japanese outfits circling Australian players, who are concerned about the dire financial situation of RA.

“Marika has signed a two-year deal and he’s a high profile player for us and the Wallabies,” Stephenson told AAP.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’d be very surprised once we get back up and running we’d be looking to release him plus I think Marika is pretty happy and settled here in Melbourne with his young family.”

Stephenson acknowledged that there were a number of players who were off contract and had been approached to play overseas and said the uncertainty over Super Rugby’s future beyond 2021 wasn’t helping.

He said there were a number of issues to cover off including what the competition would look like in 2021, the broadcast deal, available revenues and salary cap.

RELATED VIEWING:

Video Spacer

Comments




Related Articles

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Jonny Gray to exit Exeter Chiefs with immediate...

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Former Connacht hooker shares brilliant rugby...

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Official calls halt to play amidst double-call...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 18 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 30 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Debate rages on after Maro Itoje sent to bin for high shot

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Wild start at Twickenham as Quins pull off another wonder-try

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal stuns fans

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he gets too close to the action

View All

Funnies

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Nick David unexpectedly shows up to semi final in full kit

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The worst camera angle in rugby history

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Louis Rees-Zammit's real reason for NFL move exposed

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    George Ford falls victim to the kickers curse

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Awesome scenes as Blitzbok fan throws down at the HSBC SVNS

View All

Amateur

  • 72 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 72 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 95 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 95 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 95 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 6 HOURS AGO

    Toulouse player ratings: "Does this Dupont fella ever take a day off?"

  • 10 HOURS AGO

    Saracens new flyhalf orchestrates incredible victory for Crusaders over the Blues

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Exclusive: Jack Clement highlights Gloucester's mindset heading into Challenge Cup final

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Former World Rugby Player of the Year on bench as Champions Cup final squads are announced

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Ellis Genge responds after being ruled out of summer tour

View All