I’m delighted to see scrum half, Fumiaki Tanaka, will be playing for the Sunwolves in 2017.
A player with tremendous skill and quality, Tanaka’s skill at number 9 soon ensure he was breaking the record books, becoming the first ethic Japanese player to sign a Super Rugby contract when he was named in the Highlanders 2013 squad. Instrumental for Japan winning against Wales in 2013 and the famous South Africa victory in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Tanaka has one other outstanding record to his name. Standing 166 cm and just 72 kg, he also holds the record as the “Worlds smallest international player” in the 2011 RWC. He is maybe small, but he’s hard as nails, brining experience and quality to a Sunwolves team that needs to make an impact in Super Rugby in 2017.
The Sunwolves will be entering the 2017 Super Rugby season with co-captains, Edward Quirk and Harumichi Tatekawa at the helm. Quirk commented at the launch of his captaincy “With another tough year of rugby ahead, I feel with the amount of experience the squad has, there is a great chance for all members to grow not only as players but as leaders and men.”…and boy will it be tough!
The Sunwolves in 2016 played 15, won 1 drew 1 and loss 13, meaning head coach and New Zealand and Osprey legend, Filo Tiatia, has a massive challenge ahead. Playing their home matches in both Japan and Singapore, I sincerely hope the Sunwolves make Japanese rugby proud 2017 and show the world how much Japanese rugby has to offer Super Rugby.
Sunwolves 2017 squad
Keita Inagaki, Masataka Mikami, Koki Yamamoto, Takeshi Kizu, Takeshi Hino, Shota Horie, Takuma Asahara, Heiichiro Ito, Koo Jiwon, Hitoshi Ono, Kyosuke Kajikawa, Shinya Makabe, Liaki Moli, Willem Britz, Edward Quirk, Uwe Helu, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Shuhei Matsuhashi, Malgene Ilaua, Yuhimaru Mimura
Keisuke Uchida, Takahiro Ogawa, Fumiaki Tanaka, Kaito Shigeno, Yuki Yatomi, Harumichi Tatekawa, Hikaru Tamura, Yu Tamura, Hayden Cripps, Teruya Goto, Kenki Fukuoka, Timothy Lafaele, Derek Carpenter, Yasutaka Sasakura, Kotaro Matsushima, Riaan Viljoen
The one thing you have to say ….they have an excellent promo video and theme song! Click below to see what you think…..