Joseph hopes key players join Sunwolves

Date published: April 10 2016

New Japan boss Jamie Joseph hopes that the likes of Fumiaki Tanaka and Ayumu Goromaru will sign for the Sunwolves for 2017.

Joseph, currently head coach of the Highlanders, will take over the Brave Blossoms permanently at the end of the season.

Unlike the Jaguares whose side has featured the majority of last year's Argentina squad for the Rugby World Cup, the Sunwolves have been without the services of Tanaka, Goromaru, captain Michael Leitch, Hendrik Tui, Kotaro Matsushima, Male Sa'u and Hiroshi Yamashita, who are all playing for other franchses.

Joseph hopes to bring those players back to Japan with the Sunwolves for next year in order to improve not just the fortunes of the Super Rugby side, but Japan as well.

“Next year one of my goals is to attract all the Japanese national players around the world back home (to) play for the Sunwolves,” Joseph told Kyodo News.

“I think it is important for our preparation for the World Cup.

"If we have a Sunwolves team and we don’t have the majority of the national team playing for them, it doesn’t really serve a purpose for our preparation. So that’s a big challenge for us.

“Ideally getting all the guys back to Japan would be good for the team.”