Vodacom Super Rugby gets Japanese and Argentinian flavour

Nov 20 • General News, Super Rugby, Super Rugby News • 1879 Views • Comments Off on Vodacom Super Rugby gets Japanese and Argentinian flavour

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Japanese and Argentinian team will appear in South Africa from 2016 following their confirmation in an expanded 18-team Vodacom Super Rugby competition, SANZAR announced on Thursday.

The decision was confirmed at a SANZAR Executive Committee meeting in London and means that Tokyo and Buenos Aires-based franchises will appear in the South Africa conferences of the competition in a little more than 12 months from now.

It was also announced that Singapore will host three of the Japanese team’s home matches to manage the travel requirements on SA teams, who will play the Tokyo team much closer to home. Singapore is closer to SA than Sydney while a trip to Tokyo would be a 24-hour exercise at least.

“This is an exciting departure for SANZAR and one that ticks the boxes of South African rugby,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

“We will have six entrants to the competition in 2016 and will have the pleasure of hosting the new entrants from Japan and Argentina while we have a good solution to the issue of what would have been extended travel time to Tokyo.”

SANZAR Chief Executive Greg Peters said: “As Top 10 ranked rugby nations with established high performance level leagues and over 100,000 players each, there is no doubt as to Japan and Argentina’s rugby readiness and passion for the sport.

“With a heritage stretching back some 115 years, Japan also offers tremendous infrastructure and an active fan base that we view as pivotal to the ongoing sustainability of the team.

“Japan has also been the focus of strategic investment by the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby) and we view the region as a high growth, high potential sports and economic market with the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Olympic Games and now Super Rugby on the imminent horizon.”

The Japanese and Argentinean teams will play in the South African Group and will be positioned in opposing conferences. The final composition of these conferences are subject to approval by South African Rugby Union’s General Council.

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