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Emirates LionsHighlandersLions 0 / 0 Highlanders

The Emirates Lions and Highlanders do battle in a Super Rugby 2016 Semifinal at

Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 GMT, Sunday 01:00 NZ Time).

This is the live match discussion Article.

The match is broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Emirates LionsCrusadersLions (22) 42 / 25 (10) Crusaders (Final Score)

The Emirates Lions and Crusaders did battle in a Super Rugby 2016 Quarterfinal at

Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT, Sunday 02:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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BrumbiesHighlandersBrumbies (6) 9 / 15 (10) Highlanders (Final Score)

The Brumbies and Highlanders did battle in a Super Rugby 2016 Quarterfinal at

Canberra Stadium, Canberra at 10:00 SA Time (08:00 GMT, 18:00 AEST, 20:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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Emirates Lions(Updated with BNZ Crusaders playing squad)

The Emirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named an extended squad of 25 players for the quarterfinal clash against the Crusaders, with the big surprise being the possible return to action of inspirational captain Warren Whiteley.

Whiteley, who was originally diagnosed with an injury which would keep him out of Rugby for 6 weeks, and hence miss the entire Super Rugby play-offs, is to undergo a fitness test on Thursday.

Undoubtedly the Lions management, players and all of their supporters will be hoping that he is declared fit to play.

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JaguaresHighlandersJaguares (8) 8 / 34 (24) Highlanders (Final Score)

Los Jaguares and the Highlanders did battle in Super Rugby 2016 at

Velez Sarsfield, Beunos Aires at 23:40 SA Time (21:40 GMT, 18:40 ARG Time, Sunday 09:40 NZ Time).

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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Andy Marinos

Andy Marinos

New SANZAR CEO Andy Marinos has backed South Africa’s Southern Kings and Japan’s Sunwolves to cause upsets in Super Rugby 2016.

The Southern Kings have at least played a season of Super Rugby before, while the Sunwolves are making their debut as the competition expands to accommodate a side each from Japan and Argentina as well as an extra South African side.

The EP Kings’ serious financial troubles over the past few months have raised questions over their fanchise participation in the competition, but the Sunwolves have not yet named a head coach for the season while they also do not have a full player roster.

But Marinos was a voice of calm on Wednesday morning, backing the Japanese franchise to get their ducks in a row before the tournament begins at the end of February.

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Andy Marinos

Andy Marinos

SANZAR has appointed Andy Marinos as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

His new job will formally commence on 1 January 2016 and he replaces Greg Peters – who is taking over as CEO of the new Argentina Super Rugby team.

The South African, who is no stranger to the position, having previously served as CEO between 2008 – 2010, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role, both as an administrator and professional player.

Marinos re-joins SANZAR from SARU, where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past 5 years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008 – 2010), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005 – 2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008 – 2015).

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Steve Tew

Steve Tew

New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said it was premature to speculate about Japan joining The Rugby Championship.

The sport is currently on a high in the Asian nation after the Brave Blossoms’ exploits at the Rugby World Cup, which included a stunning 34 / 32 win over South Africa, but there are already concerns about its preparations for the expanded Super Rugby competition next year.

With Japan set to host the next edition of the Rugby World Cup in 2019, World Rugby is keen to consolidate its popularity in a large and potentially lucrative market.

The governing body’s chairman Bernard Lapasset said on a trip to Tokyo this week that Japan should join The Rugby Championship, which currently comprises New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.

But New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said a more immediate concern for Japanese rugby was fielding a competitive side in the Super Rugby competition in 2016.

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SunwolvesJapan’s Super Rugby side for the 2016 tournament will be known as the Sunwolves!

  • Japan’s new Super Rugby team formally revealed as the Sunwolves;
  • Designed to represent bravery, strength and an ethos of teamwork;
  • The Sunwolves to play historic 1st game against the Emirates Lions on Saturday afternoon 27 February in Tokyo;
  • Singapore National Stadium to host matches between the Sunwolves and the Toyota Cheetahs (Round 3), Vodacom Bulls (Round 5) and DHL Stormers (Round 12);
  • the Sunwolves Will feature in a conference alongside the Vodacom Bulls, Toyota Cheetahs and DHL Stormers

A new era of rugby has risen in Japan with confirmation that its new Super Rugby team will be known as the Sunwolves.

Today’s announcement by Yoshitaka Tashiro, Representative Director of the Japan Super Rugby Association (JRSA), is the product of an initiative that saw the JRSA engage fans from all over the world to help devise an identity for its new team.

The name is a hybrid comprising the blazing icon of the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ and a wolf which represents a pack hunting mentality and a dedicated team ethos of protecting one another.

The striking logo depicts the breaking of a new dawn for Japanese rugby and a fearsome representation of the team’s desired playing style as they seek to utilise speed, unity and a fearless spirit to face their challenges.

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Japan Rugby

Japan Rugby

Japan’s hopes of playing in the 2016 Super Rugby tournament still appear to be doomed but their exit could also force the Southern Kings out of the expanded tournament.

The Japanese Rugby Union formed the Japan Super Rugby Association (JSRA) to run the new Super Rugby team but the JSRA has struggled to sign players for the new team.

Their expectation was that the Japanese Top League teams would release players to the Super Rugby team but they don’t want to do that and instead they want the Top League to be considered at a higher level than Super Rugby.

SANZAR are believed to be so concerned about the situation in Japan that they have started discussing alternate tournament models for the 2016 season and possibly beyond.

Tournament organizers SANZAR gave Japan a deadline on 31 August last month to show a list of 20 contracted players but reports suggest that the standard of players is not at a level that will make the new Asian team competitive.

Reports in Australia say that SANZAR are now considering taking the Super Rugby licence away from Japan indefinitely.

The writing appeared to be on the wall early last month when Japan coach Eddie Jones announced that he would not be re-signing with the national side and he would not be available as the new Japanese team’s Director of Rugby.

While the Japan team’s inclusion seems unlikely it is understood that the 6th South African side, the Southern Kings are also struggling to sign a full squad and in recent months there have been financial problems and player strikes due to wages not being paid.

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Liam Messam

Liam Messam

SANZAR has issued All Blacks’ team management with a breach notice following an incident that occurred during the Test between the All Blacks and the Wallabies played at Eden Park on Saturday 15 August 2015.

Under tournament rules, water carriers are not permitted within the playing enclosure while the match is in progress. Liam Messam, who was acting as a water carrier for the All Blacks, entered the field of play during the 29th minute which constituted a breach of technical zone protocol.

All Blacks’ team management accepted responsibility for this breach and has been issued a fine of A$ 2 000.00.

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