Sunwolves will not be taking part in the upcoming Australian Domestic Competition meaning that their stay in Super Rugby is over.
Sunwolves and Rugby Australia confirmed on Monday that the former will not be part of the competition due to logistics and stringent coronavirus border restrictions. For Sunwolves to take part in the competition, they were to complete a 14-day quarantine period and then get a permanent base which would host them for the 12 weeks of competition.
Sunwolves CEO Yuji Watase said in a statement that their Super Rugby stay was over for now and he termed their appearance in the competition as a privilege.
“We are announcing that we have been told by the Australian rugby association officially that we are unable to participate in the competition. It is extremely unfortunate and disappointing but the reality is that the Sunwolves’ time in Super Rugby has come to an end for now,” said Watase.
‘It has been an honour and privilege for us to be part of the toughest rugby competition in the world. We wish to thank all our wonderful fans, sponsors, partners, players and staff for all they have done for rugby in Japan and the Sunwolves organisation.’
Super Rugby had earlier announced that the Japanese team would be cut at the end of the 2020 competition after five seasons in the tournament, Japan Rugby Football Union chairman Shigetaka Mori confirmed they won’t play again in 2020.
‘The Sunwolves, loved by many fans, have reached the end of the 2020 season,’ Mori said in a statement, thanking the fans, players and staff for their dedication.
‘The five-year trajectory of Sunwolves will never disappear. When the Japan national team’s success in the Rugby World Cup last year was talked about, it proved to many fans that the existence of the Sunwolves was a key factor behind this.
‘Going forward, we will continue to make use of the experience gained by the existence of the Sunwolves to work with fans and other stakeholders to further develop Japan Rugby.’
The side managed just nine wins in the five-season they were in the Super Rugby. They played a total of 68 matches.