Eighteen days after Mark Hammett was named assistant coach of the Highlanders from 2017, the Sunwolves finally confirmed they would be losing their head coach.
The Japanese Super Rugby franchise said Monday that the 43-year-old Hammett, who was named the inaugural coach of the Sunwolves in December 2015 only two months before the club’s debut match, will return to New Zealand at the end of the season. The Sunwolves also said they have not yet decided on a replacement.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the Sunwolves in our first season of Super Rugby and it will be sad to leave behind good friends, players and staff, and of course the memories which include our historic win against the Jaguares at Chichibu Stadium,” Hammett said.
“I am extremely proud of what the Sunwolves organization has achieved on and off the field, and I believe I leave the Sunwolves in a strong position where they can improve and evolve into a highly competitive Super Rugby team,” he added.
Under Hammett, the Sunwolves have compiled a record of one win, one draw and 10 losses. Their sole victory came in April when they beat the Argentina-based based Jaguares, 36-28.
This month, the former All Blacks hooker served as an interim coach for the Japan national team’s test matches against Canada and Scotland.