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Hammett on leave after mother’s death

Kyodo

Mark Hammett, coach of Japan’s new Super Rugby side the Sunwolves, will leave the team’s training camp in Okinawa with immediate effect following the death of his mother Friday in New Zealand.

“It is a sad day for me and my family on the passing of my mother,” Hammett said in a statement. “A lot of my success in life I owe to her. . . . I will leave Japan to go and support my family and lay my mum to rest. I am hopeful that I can return in time for our inaugural Super Rugby match.”

Assistant coach Filo Tiatia will take charge of the team as it prepares for its first game against the Johannesburg-based Lions on Feb. 27 in Tokyo.