Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?



  • They were unbelievable in this RWC...now they must build on that and take that performance when playing away from Japan and into the real world..personally I hope they can.





  • It really depends on what people mean by home support. A quick google tells me that the Sunwolves get about 15,000 ppl through the gate for every home match - there is plenty of support for them here from fans.

    On the other hand, they were set up to fail by the JRFU - they just don’t have access to the best players, as the company league was not adapted to fit this competition. They would have been better promoting one team (eg Panasonic, Toshiba, maybe Kubota) to play, or even better, getting each of the teams to provide one or two key players. Beyond that, they could have embraced the non-JP flavor and gone super hard at ‘world’ stars, putting Vermeulen in the SW’s rather than at Kubota, for example. There is a very successful super team here - it just may not be more than 1/3 - 1/2 Japanese in the short term. Had they recruiting just a bit better players, they’d have won more games.

    With respect to the International game, expanding the 4N to 6N by adding Japan and either Fiji or a Pacific Island team, would be great. I think Japan would lose a lot more than they have won, but they’d get better. Fiji would probably also quickly get stronger - if their best players were available.



  • @gt12 said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    It really depends on what people mean by home support. A quick google tells me that the Sunwolves get about 15,000 ppl through the gate for every home match - there is plenty of support for them here from fans.

    On the other hand, they were set up to fail by the JRFU - they just don’t have access to the best players, as the company league was not adapted to fit this competition. They would have been better promoting one team (eg Panasonic, Toshiba, maybe Kubota) to play, or even better, getting each of the teams to provide one or two key players. Beyond that, they could have embraced the non-JP flavor and gone super hard at ‘world’ stars, putting Vermeulen in the SW’s rather than at Kubota, for example. There is a very successful super team here - it just may not be more than 1/3 - 1/2 Japanese in the short term. Had they recruiting just a bit better players, they’d have won more games.

    With respect to the International game, expanding the 4N to 6N by adding Japan and either Fiji or a Pacific Island team, would be great. I think Japan would lose a lot more than they have won, but they’d get better. Fiji would probably also quickly get stronger - if their best players were available.

    I really like the idea of an annual play off between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa for the sixth spot. You could add in a relegationesque component with the sixth placed side having to go through the playoffs rather than automatically making Fiji (or one of the other teams) requalify regardless of performance. That could be much harder to set up commercially though.



  • @Cyclops

    I think the only way that would work is if they played out of Mt Smart, which has some sense for Samoa (about 140,000) or Tonga (41,000) but not so much for Fiji (only 7000). Otherwise, scheduling is a major hassle.

    Source: NZ stats.gov page.

    Plus, apparently Fiji (currently 11th) has never been ranked more than 16th since the ranking started, while Italy has apparently gone down to 15th, while Samoa has gone to 17th at worst (currently 15th) and Tonga 20th (currently 13th and most unlucky team looking at recent progression).

    Sources: Wikipedia, World Rugby



  • @Cyclops Why only a play-off between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa? Why treat them differently to the rest? There's no reason to treat Japan more favourably. They may haven beaten Fiji this year, but that doesn't mean they'll do that again next year.



  • @Stargazer said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    @Cyclops Why only a play-off between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa? Why treat them differently to the rest? There's no reason to treat Japan more favourably.

    I can think of one.
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  • @Stargazer said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    @Cyclops Why only a play-off between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa? Why treat them differently to the rest? There's no reason to treat Japan more favourably. They may haven beaten Fiji this year, but that doesn't mean they'll do that again next year.

    Yeah four way play off works too. Top two teams go through. Commercially a much harder sell though. Logistically harder too since you don't know until the last minute the full schedule. One team would be hard to manage, two teams even more so.



  • @antipodean said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    I can think of one.
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    What was it 60 million people watched the Scotland game?

    In terms of TRCs future it will be interesting to see if the discussions around the World League drive any changes re: US/Japan. It seems all SH unions were in favour of the proposal, I wonder if the economics make sense without the home unions?



  • @rotated They won't need support from the home unions for creating - for example - a second tier to the TRC (with promotion/relegation). I'd favour that. TRC - four nations (NZ, AUS, RSA, ARG to start with), second tier TRC - four nations (Japan, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga). Keep the USA out of it. An odd number of nations complicates scheduling etc.



  • @rotated said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    @antipodean said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    I can think of one.
    alt text

    What was it 60 million people watched the Scotland game?

    In terms of TRCs future it will be interesting to see if the discussions around the World League drive any changes re: US/Japan. It seems all SH unions were in favour of the proposal, I wonder if the economics make sense without the home unions?

    If they don't want it, what are the chances of starting one up ourselves? Perhaps a second tier RC comp with USA, Japan, Fiji, maybe another PI team and Uruguay for starters, with the opportunity for the winner to play some games in the main comp?



  • @canefan Brazil are coming on too. Didn't they give the Maori team a good run for their money (particularly in the forwards) a year or two back?



  • @Stargazer said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    @rotated They won't need support from the home unions for creating - for example - a second tier to the TRC (with promotion/relegation). I'd favour that. TRC - four nations (NZ, AUS, RSA, ARG to start with), second tier TRC - four nations (Japan, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga). Keep the USA out of it. An odd number of nations complicates scheduling etc.

    Obviously they wouldn't need the home unions support. The question is wether the economics of the southern hemisphere portion only of World League is better than the status quo. Maybe something can be salvaged stemming from those discussions?

    Keep USA as they can drive revenue which we can participate in. Limited interest in the islands participating unless they can drive revenue too.



  • @Higgins said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?:

    @canefan Brazil are coming on too. Didn't they give the Maori team a good run for their money (particularly in the forwards) a year or two back?

    They won the Internet with their ads



  • @Stargazer said in Can Japan and Sun Wolves survive without home support?: An odd number of nations complicates scheduling etc.

    An odd number of teams in TRC could actually work out well to stagger the byes so there is rugby each weekend.

    I'd work backwards from the fixtures I want to see. For example, having renamed mysef Brent Impey, my goal for the next 3 years is:

    • play 2 x RSA, 2 x AUS, 1 x ARG, 1 x other (JPN) per year
    • instead of 2 x RSA, 2 x AUS, 2 x ARG as now.

    Take one Aus game and one Bok game out of TRC but still played as Bledisloe and Freedom Cup matches.

    TRC is then a round-robin like the 6N (or, with 5 teams, like the old 5 Nations)

    Or, if you wanted to drop the Bledisloe to 2 games - or even one - for a particular year, then there is an opportunity for an inbound or outbound test tour with the Boks, Pumas, Fiji, or whoever.


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