Top League moves big-name season opener to National Stadium

Rugby Nov 9, 2020

Top League moves big-name season opener to National Stadium

The Japan Rugby Top League announced Monday it will go back to the future by moving its Jan. 16 season opener to the National Stadium, the centerpiece of the postponed Tokyo Olympics. The opening day battle sets up a rematch between Toshiba Brave Lupus' Michael ...

Top League reveals 2021 format in final season before pro league

Rugby Sep 29, 2020

Top League reveals 2021 format in final season before pro league

The Japan Rugby Top League announced Monday the format for its 2021 season, the last planned before the launch of a new professional competition the following year. The season will kick off Jan. 16 and conclude in May. It will comprise three stages involving all ...

Former All Blacks Ben Smith, Aaron Cruden bound for Steelers

Rugby Jul 31, 2020

Former All Blacks Ben Smith, Aaron Cruden bound for Steelers

Former All Blacks Ben Smith and Aaron Cruden will join the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in the Japan Rugby Top League next season, the club announced Friday. Smith, who boasts 84 caps for New Zealand, was a member of two consecutive World Cup sides, winning the ...

Sam Whitelock, Damien de Allende headline exodus from Panasonic

Rugby Jun 30, 2020

Sam Whitelock, Damien de Allende headline exodus from Panasonic

The Panasonic Wild Knights officially bid farewell Monday to veteran New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock and South African center Damien de Allende as part of an exodus of overseas players from the Japan Rugby Top League club. Whitelock, a World Cup winner in 2011 and ...

Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann to take over Red Hurricanes

Rugby May 15, 2020

Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann to take over Red Hurricanes

Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann is leaving the English Premiership club to join Japan Top League side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, it was announced on Friday. The 49-year-old South African has spent three years with Gloucester, taking them to the final of the European Challenge Cup ...

Former Suntory boss Keisuke Sawaki to coach Canon Eagles: sources

Rugby Apr 29, 2020

Former Suntory boss Keisuke Sawaki to coach Canon Eagles: sources

Canon Eagles have reached a basic agreement with former Suntory Sungoliath coach Keisuke Sawaki, sources close to the team revealed Wednesday. Sawaki, 45, replaces former Springboks coach Allister Coetzee, who stepped down at the end of the coronavirus-shortened season. A former Japan international who was part ...