Sunwolves double their Saffa stock
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sunwolves have doubled their South African representation by adding former Cheetahs loose forward Willem Britz to their 2017 Super Rugby squad.
Britz represented the Bloemfontein-based franchise in the 2015 Super Rugby competition before signing a deal with Japanese club side Shinning Arcs.
Another addition to the Sunwolves' squad is Japan international scrumhalf Fumiaki Tanaka, who links up with the Asian franchise after leaving the Highlanders.
Notable exclusions from the 2017 squad are flyhalf Tusi Pisi (Bristol) and Tomás Leonardi (Leicester Tigers). Pisi contributed 105 points to the Sunwolves' 2016 cause in the 11 matches he played while Leonardi managed to play just five matches.
The Sunwolves will head into the new season under the slogan of "Rise as One."
As the only Japanese and Asian team in Super Rugby, the slogan represents their strong determination toward the 2017 season, in a close relationship with the Japanese National team based on what was built in the 2016 season.
Their aim is to be a symbol of sunrise, not only for Japan but also for the entire Asian region as Japan gets ready to host the 2019 World Cup in Tokyo.
Forwards: 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.
Backs: 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.