Panasonic still team to beat in revamped Top League

Aug 24, 2016

Panasonic still team to beat in revamped Top League

With Japan once again the darling of world rugby, thanks to the exploits of the sevens team at the Rio Olympics, attention now shifts to the 15-a-side version of the game with the Top League kicking off Friday. While the players and coaches have ...

Aug 19, 2016

Japan to add second-tier rugby league in 2017

An eight-team second-tier league below the Top League will begin from the 2017-18 season, the Japan Rugby Football Union announced Friday. The top two teams from each of Japan’s three provincial leagues — Top East, Top West, and Top Kyushu this upcoming season will ...

Jun 30, 2016

Ex-All Blacks winger Jane joins Toshiba Brave Lupus

Former All Blacks winger Cory Jane has signed a two-year contract with theTop League’s Toshiba Brave Lupus, though he will return to play for the Wellington Hurricanes next year, his Super Rugby franchise said on Thursday. Jane will head to Japan at the conclusion ...

May 31, 2016

Japanese rugby players association established

The Japanese rugby players association was launched on Tuesday, with president Toshiaki Hirose saying he was confident it would improve the Japanese game. “I want to work with the firm belief the players association is an organization that will improve Japanese rugby,” said former ...

May 26, 2016

JRFU alters rugby national championship format

The top three teams in the Top League and the winner of the university championship will compete under a tournament format at the rugby national championship in January next year, the Japan Rugby Football Union said Thursday. The Top League champions will play the ...

May 19, 2016

Top League to change bonus point system, foreign player limit

Japan Top League teams will be able to play more foreign-born players this autumn, the league said Thursday, when it announced several changes to the competition ahead of the 2016-2017 season. Until now teams were able to have up to three foreign-born players on ...

May 16, 2016

Wallaby legend Smith returning to Suntory

Suntory Sungoliath confirmed Monday that George Smith was returning to the club for the 2016-2017 Top League season. The former Wallaby previously played for Sungoliath from 2011-2014 before heading to Europe. Last week Smith, who won 111 caps for Australia, was named the Players’ ...

Apr 19, 2016

Kobe appoints ex-Wallabies assistant McKay as new coach

Kobe Kobelco Steelers named former Wallabies and Tonga assistant Jim McKay as their new head coach on Tuesday. The 49-year-old Australian succeeds Allister Coetzee, who left to take over the Springboks. McKay will be the Steelers’ fourth head coach in four years, and will ...

Top League boss Coetzee hired to lead Springboks

Apr 12, 2016

Top League boss Coetzee hired to lead Springboks

Allister Coetzee made the big jump from coaching Top League side Kobe Kobelco Steelers to running South Africa on Tuesday, when the appointment was announced by the South African Rugby Union. A former Springbok assistant, Coetzee coached Steelers to a fourth-place finish last season, ...

Mafi's amazing return to continue at Bath

Feb 17, 2016

Mafi's amazing return to continue at Bath


Fourteen months ago Amanaki Lelei Mafi was lying in a hospital bed wondering if he would ever play rugby again, having dislocated his hip in a Top League game for NTT Communications Shining Arcs. On Tuesday, he was holding court at one of the ...