Seven squads secure playoff berths on pivotal day in Top League

Rugby Oct 13, 2018

Seven squads secure playoff berths on pivotal day in Top League

Seven teams confirmed their places in the playoffs to determine the Japan Rugby Top League champion Saturday as the pool stage reached its penultimate round. Yamaha Jubilo, the Panasonic Wild Knights, Ricoh Black Rams and Kubota Spears will all progress from the White Conference, while ...

Andy Ellis shines as Steelers whip Blues

Rugby Sep 29, 2018

Andy Ellis shines as Steelers whip Blues

The Kobe Kobelco Steelers moved to the top of the Red Conference thanks to a 69-5 hammering of the Munakata Sanix Blues in Saturday's only Japan Rugby Top League game. The Round 2 game was originally slated for Sept. 8 but was postponed as a ...

Allister Coetzee hired to lead Top League's Canon Eagles

Rugby Mar 9, 2018

Allister Coetzee hired to lead Top League's Canon Eagles

Allister Coetzee will take over as head coach of Canon Eagles, the Japan Top League side announced Friday. The 54-year-old South African ran Kobe Kobelco Steelers during the 2015-2016 season before taking over as head coach of the Springboks in early 2016. Coetzee was relieved ...

Top League returns with new format

More Sports / Rugby Aug 17, 2017

Top League returns with new format

by Rich Freeman

The new Japan Rugby Top League season kicks off Friday with five games being played across the country. Defending champion Suntory Sungoliath open their campaign against the Canon Eagles with fans, players and coaches alike forced to get used to yet another new format. This season, ...

Unbeaten Suntory claims Top League title

More Sports / Rugby Jan 14, 2017

Unbeaten Suntory claims Top League title

Suntory Sungoliath were crowned Japan Rugby Top League champions Saturday following a 27-15 win over Kobe Kobelco Steelers. The victory at Noevir Stadium sees Keisuke Sawaki's team finish the season unbeaten on 69 points, two more than Yamaha Jubilo, who beat eighth-placed Toyota Verblitz 27-8. Hendrik ...

More Sports / Rugby Jan 12, 2017

JRFU hands Kobe's Nakajima a 10-match ban

Kobe Kobelco Steelers lock Vakauta Isileli Nakajima was handed a 10-match ban by the Japan Rugby Football Union on Thursday for a tip tackle during last weekend's Top League game against the Kubota Spears. The 27-year-old Tongan-born graduate of Ryutsu Keizai University upended Kim Ho-bum ...

More Sports / Rugby Oct 29, 2016

Green Rockets outplay Steelers in Top League clash

The Kobe Kobelco Steelers missed out on a golden opportunity to keep pace with the Top League leaders on Saturday, losing 38-24 to the NEC Green Rockets. The inaugural Top League champions (in the 2003-04 campaign) came into this Round 9 game at Prince Chichibu ...

More Sports / Rugby 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 begin ...

Top League boss Coetzee hired to lead Springboks

More Sports / Rugby 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, ...