Hammett confirmed as Sunwolves Super Rugby coach

Shinnosuke Kakinaga (L), Yuki Yatomo (2nd L) Mark Hammett and Edward Quirk (R)

Former Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has been confirmed as Japan’s Sunwolves Super Rugby coach for the upcoming season.

The Sunwolves announced Hammett as their new head coach on Monday and have also announced their playing squad and playing strip.

The new Japanese side will play in a in red/orange primary strip and will have a grey alternate strip while the playing squad features some players with past Super Rugby experience with other clubs such as Tusi Pisi (Crusaders and Hurricanes) and Tomas Leonardi (Southern Kings)

Hammett served an an assistant at the Crusaders (2007-10) and head coach at the Hurricanes (2011-14) before taking up the Director of Rugby role at the Cardiff Blues (2014-15). He also has 81 caps to his name at the Crusaders where he played from 1996-2003 and 29 for the All Blacks throughout a Test career spanning four years.

Hammett inherits a list of 34 players that includes 15 with Test experience and 10 of the Brave Blossoms squad that took the world by storm at the recent Rugby World Cup.

Playing in a South African Conference alongside the Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers, the Sunwolves start with four home games (two in Singapore), providing local fans with every opportunity to embrace the team in its inaugural Super Rugby campaign.

The Sunwolves play each team in their group twice, teams in the other South African Conference (Jaguares, Kings, Lions, Sharks) once, the Australian Conference (Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs) once and will face the New Zealand sides in 2017.

The team will wear a red/orange primary strip that represents the rising sun while the grey alternate signifies the speed and fighting spirit of the wolf that is fiercely emblazoned across both jerseys.

The Sunwolves will play their first Super Rugby match against the Lions at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium on February 27.

2016 Sunwolves Squad

Ryuhei Arita
Timothy Bond
Derek Carpenter
Andrew Durutalo
Ziun Gu
Shohei Hirano
Atsushi Hiwasa
Shota Horie
Yoshiya Hosoda
Keita Inagaki
Daisuke Inoue
Shinnosuke Kakinaga
Takeshi Kizu Hooker
Yamamoto Koki Prop
Faatiga Lemalu
Tomas Leonardi
Amanaki Lotoahea
Shinya Makabe
Paea Mifi Poseti
Masataka Mikami
Liaki Moli
Tsuyoshi Murata
Hitoshi Ono
Tusi Pisi
Eddie Quirk
Yusataka Sasakura
John Stewart
Yu Tamura
Harumichi Tatekawa
Riaan Viljoen
Akihito Yamada
Ryohei Yamanaka
Hajime Yamashita
Yuki Yatomi

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