After some memorable battles against each other, including this year's Rugby World Cup final, All Blacks captain Sam Cane is excited to call Springboks speedster Cheslin Kolbe his teammate at Tokyo Sungoliath.

The big-name imports made their Japan Rugby League One debuts Sunday in Sungoliath's 52-26 opening-round win over defending champions Kubota Spears at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.

The Japanese club season kicked off a month and a half after the two were on opposite sides of South Africa's 12-11 victory against New Zealand at the Stade de France, outside Paris, where Cane made an early exit due to a contentious red card and Kolbe spent the final minutes in the sin bin.