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SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion

Following their hugely impressive Rugby World Cup performances from Japan SANZAAR are set to not only consider the team’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship but are also to reconsider the Sunwolves future according to reports

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Japanese rugby franchise the Sunwolves could be set for a return to Super Rugby as well as the national side having a chance to compete in the Rugby Championship according to a report from Newshub.

Following Japan’s brilliant World Cup campaign where they reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, SANZAAR are apparently set to consider bringing the country into the Rugby Championship to help them develop their game. 

The report claims that SANZAAR are set to meet in Tokyo on Friday where they will also discuss the possibility of reintroducing the Sunwolves to Super Rugby. 

Speaking to Newshub, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper is hoping that Japan will be able to compete at the highest level and rues the fact that the Nations Championship proposal was shut down. 

“Certainly if I was in their shoes I’d be very keen to have Japan in my competition sooner rather than later. That’s entirely their call. We proposed a nations championship that had Japan very much playing at the top table and maybe they’ll see it that way for their own particular championship” he said. 

The inclusion of the Sunwolves would be huge for Japan after the franchise failed to agree a new contract with SANZAAR to extend their time in the competition where they have only won eight of 62 games since 2016. 

However, considering the success of the national side this tournament it seems only fair that they should be given a chance to continue their development to the top tier and that will only happen if their players are playing against the best week in week out. 

The Japanese were unfortunate to go down 26-3 to the Springboks on Saturday in the quarter-finals, but following their incredible performances where they played a fast and exciting style of rugby, earning many fans worldwide, people will hope that this is only the beginning of their rugby story.

International

Steyn’s Rugby Career Could be Over

Double World Cup winner Frans Steyn could be set to call time on his career early following his latest triumph

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(Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Springboks great Frans Steyn looks likely to at least pull the curtain down on his European career in order to return to his homeland.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner, who managed to pick up medals from the 2007 edition of the tournament and this year’s one, beating England in both finals, is currently contracted to French Top 14 giants Montpellier. 

However, it is believed that he has held discussions with the club about ending his contract come the end of January instead of when it is supposed to expire in July and speaking to South African news-outlet Volksblad, he seems keen on settling down in his homeland. 

“Rugby has always been an inspiration for the Afrikaners, especially for farmers. If we had a bad week, if we watch good rugby on Saturday, then everything is better again. Only good rain, a good rugby weekend gives us the power to face Mondays again. It is a privilege that many farmers do not have. We know what to do in the future and what we need to have in place. We want to raise our children here and are attached to the rural feel that Bloemfontein offers. We want our children to have a good experience here as my wife and I had when one grew up here,” he said. 

The 32-year-old has a family farm in Bloemfontein and it is understood this is not the first time he has made the suggestion to return to the area, but it now looks more likely than ever that he will get what he likes. 

Steyn is expected to return to the French club next week, where he would play until January before his possible move back to South Africa. 

At this time it is unknown whether the back would continue his rugby career with local professional side the Cheetahs, who play in the PRO14, or whether he will end his career early, having played at the top level for such a long time already.

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International

All Blacks Lucky to Only Receive One Red Card?!

Following Saturday’s first Bledisloe Cup match much of the talk revolved around Scott Barrett’s sending off, however, it turns out the All Blacks may have been fortunate to have only had one red card!

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The All Blacks 47-26 crushing defeat to the Wallabies on Saturday was mostly followed by talk surrounding Scott Barrett’s sending off, but it now seems as though he could have been joined on the side-lines by some of his teammates

Social media exploded on Saturday in the aftermath of Barrett’s red card, for which he subsequently received a three-week ban from rugby. However, Fox Sports have done some research and found that the All Blacks actually committed 17 instances of foul play in the 80 minutes of which only three were penalised.

The most noticeable of which happened only eight minutes into the game when the All Blacks were fortunate not to have three men given at least yellow cards at once.

Dane Coles, Owen Franks and Ardie Savea all could have faced further punishment than the penalty awarded with the trio performing no arms tackles that were high on Wallabies captain Michael Hooper.

Flanker Sam Cane complained after the game of the Wallabies methods of breaking up the ruck.

“To be honest, I wasn’t aware of it until I looked at my game yesterday but there were times when you’d get over the ball and you’d know you were in a good position and then for whatever reason you get taken off it. Sometimes it was because players were coming blatantly in from the side, sometimes it’s those neck rolls,” he said on Monday.

However, it has since been noticed that he flipped Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu on his head in the 35th minute to prevent a turnover at a ruck and a short time later Franks was spotted tackling Izack Rodda around the neck.

That was only in the first-half.

In the second-half there were two instances were substitute prop Angus Ta’avao tackled players around the neck and also didn’t use his arms in a tackle.

As well as this the Wallabies were constantly being hit off the ball, but there was no punishment.

The Wallabies were at fault on multiple occasions too with neck rolls being missed and late tackles slipping by.

However, the call from fans and players alike that the All Blacks were treated unfairly during their side’s record loss to the Wallabies would appear to be unjustified.

If anything, it seems as though things could have been much worse for the All Blacks if the officiating was stricter.

What is certain though is that both side’s will need to solve their defensive indiscipline for the second test this weekend or we could be seeing more players join Barrett on the side-lines.

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Rugby Championship

WATCH: Surely this new angle on Barrett Red Card ends the debate.

Surely this ends the debate.

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Photo Credit: Fox Sports

There has been mass debate over the weekend since Jérôme Garcès issued Scott Barrett a Red-Card for a no arms tackle to the head/neck area of Michael Hooper.

Many pundits, players, former players and spectators gave their 2 pence worth but surely this new video angle that has been uncovered by host broadcaster Fox Sports ends the debate?

Here are some of the ranging opinions from Twitter.

Perhaps the most precise of all:

The SANZAAR foul play review committee will convene late Sunday afternoon (5pm AEST) by video conference to consider Barrett’s case.

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