Japan tipped for Super Rugby team

Date published: September 12 2014

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Japan is set to be selected as the final Super Rugby franchise ahead of Singapore according to reports in Australia.

Japan is set to be selected as the final Super Rugby franchise ahead of Singapore according to reports in Australia.

The competition will expand to 18 teams from 2016, with an extra team to be added in South Africa and a new franchise also to be introduced in Argentina.

The final place is believed to be between the two Asian countries, with Singapore mooted as a potential home for a Pacific Islands team, while Japan would be looking to base their team around their national side.

And according to Daily Telegraph in Australia, SANZAR bosses are edging towards Japan, with a decision potentially to be announced by the end of the month.

The main issue with a Japanese bid is travel, with the team set to join the South African conference, and 24-hour flights required between the two countries.

However Japan coach Eddie Jones explained that some of the home games could take place in other Asian cities, including Singapore, to reduce travel times.

“What we would like to think is if we do become the team, we become the team that represents Asian rugby, so there are a lot of opportunities to play games within Asia, which obviously cuts down the travel,” Jones told the Daily Telegraph.

“There are always other places to play games. There is no reason why we have to play every game in Japan.

“So that's a possible solution, to go a little bit closer and decrease the travel for teams coming to Japan. That's a possibility.

“We could potentially play in Singapore and Hong Kong, they're all opportunities. I am sure from South Africa you can get a direct flight to Hong Kong.”

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