Japan consider new club rugby tournament with Australia and New Zealand
Cross-border competition could boost the growth of rugby in Asia.
- RA invited Japan to join AU Super Rugby team
- New Japanese national league to be launched in January 2022
Japan Rugby Union (JRFU), New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Rugby Australia (RA) chairman of the Japan Rugby Union (JRFU) and Rugby Australia (RA) have started talks on a new club competition. cross-border.
Details of the competition at this point are scarce, but Ota said Japan is right behind the concept.
“We do not yet have details on this topic, but it is certain that discussions are underway on cross-border competition,” Ota told reporters at a press briefing on May 26. “If there is such a competition, we would love to participate.”
RA President Hamish McLennan told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) that he would be interested in the idea of ââcross-border competition with teams from Australia, Japan and New Zealand, but stressed that the discussions were coming just started.
McLennan also said he invited Japan to join a team in AU Super Rugby.
âI would be open to a Japanese team participating in our AU Super Rugby roster,â McLennan said. “We could take a sixth team.”
After the successful hosting of the Men’s World Cup in 2019, rugby in Japan continues to thrive.
A number of Australian and New Zealand rugby stars have played in the country this season, including former All Blacks captain Kieran Read and compatriot Beauden Barrett. Six of South Africa’s World Cup winners and Australian captain Michael Hooper have also played in Japan this year.
In January, JRFU announced plans for new national club competitions, including the launch of a three-tier league system that will begin next year.
The national governing body initially unveiled its national club rugby reshuffle in 2019, but was forced to postpone its deployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the time, JRFU was looking to launch a new 12-team tournament in the fall of 2021, with the ambitious goal of generating an annual turnover of 50 billion yen (US $ 459 million) through the rights. media and sponsorship agreements.
Now, JRFU has set its sights on a professional three-tier structure, which is expected to launch in January 2022, with 25 teams, with 12 top clubs divided into two conferences. Seven teams competed in Division Two and six in Division Three.
Promotion and relegation playoffs will also occur at the end of each season, as well as a championship match between the winners of the Premier League conferences.