Tew : Japan Super Rugby bid still not quite there

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew

SANZAR say that they have not given up including Japan in an expanded Super
Rugby competition in 2016 – but time in running out for the Japanese.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew has revealed that he has had talks
with the Sanzar executive earlier this week and they still hope that Japan will
be included.

Recent reports have suggested that it is unlikely that Japan will be included
in next year’s Super Rugby tournament as they struggle to sign players and a
coach for next year.

The reports come at a difficult time for Japanese Rugby as World Rugby have
said that the 2019 Rugby World Cup could be moved to Italy or South Africa after
plans for Tokyo’s new National Stadium were scrapped.

World Rugby has given the Japanese Rugby Union until the end of this month
to give them assurances that they can host the Rugby world Cup or else it could
be moved.

Similarly SANZAR gave Japanese Rugby a deadline to produce a list of contracted
players which according to reports was met but has done little ro re-assure
SANZAR of the quality of players.

Tew said that SANZAR hoped that they could have the situation with Japan resolved
within the next week.

“They are working very hard to get themselves ready to take their spot
in 2016, “Tew told Stuff.

“We’ve gone back looking for more information. Sanzar will be making some
comments on that next week possibly. “

Tew said that at this stage the Japan team is still expected to be included
in Super Rugby next year.

“We’ve got a draw ready to go with them in it. They have not reached some
of the milestones we wanted them to reach on time, and they’re working very
hard now to catch that up.

“The report we got this morning showed a reasonable amount of progress,
but there are still a couple of areas we require a little more comfort in. It’s
just not quite at the point where we could say it’s hunky-dory but not at the
point where we could say anything else either.

“I’d say by this time next week we’d be there but we’re just making sure
we give them as much time as we can to get it right. “

As reports of Japan being left out of Super Rugby surfaced earlier this week
it was also revealed that the sixth South African side the Southern Kings could
lose their place but Tew said this was not the case.

“The South Africans are confident the Kings will be ready. We expect any
team that comes into this competition to take a bit of time to find their feet
… Argentina are looking really good, the Kings will be OK, and Japan we’ve
got some more work to do. “

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