Japan set to get Super Rugby side

Date published: October 24 2014

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The 18th Super Rugby side looks almost certain to go to Japan after the bid from Singapore effectively conceded defeat.

The 18th Super Rugby side looks almost certain to go to Japan after the bid from Singapore effectively conceded defeat.

Although SANZA has yet to officially announced where the newest team in an expanded competition from 2016 will be based, Japan seems a foregone conclusion.

On Thursday, Singapore’s bidders released a statement effectively acknowledging that Japan had won the race.

“Clearly Japan is a mature, established rugby market, whilst Singapore is new to the global rugby scene,” said Eric Series, the financial backer of the proposed Singapore bid.

“Consequently, we understand that for an established organisation such as SANZAR, and its three Unions, that there may have been a reluctance to break with tradition.”

“We would like to thank SANZAR for giving us the opportunity to present the Asia Pacific Dragons proposal, but understand that perhaps the competition is not ready for a fully privately-owned club,” said Series.

“However, with increased player movement, shortened careers and the economic changes in professional rugby it seems inevitable that this will have to happen and the beneficial changes being seen in the Northern Hemisphere will start to impact SANZAR as well.”

The 18th side would be pooled in one of two African conferences and the longer journey compared to Singpaore appeared to be Japan’s main stumbling block but earlier this month, SARU President Oregan Hoskins revealed that their bid proposal had been changed to include Singapore as a host for some of the matches at the 55,000 seater retractable roof National Stadium

“The news that the Japan team will play matches in Singapore is also welcomed, as knowing that they will need to invest in rugby in Singapore and South-East Asia in order to achieve that, is a consequence we warmly endorse, as this was a key and major component of our Proposal,” said Series.

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