They are said the have contracted 25 players but no details have emerged just yet.
In an interview with Fox Sports, New SANZAR chief executive, Andy Marinos, claimed that the Sunwolves had signed a core group of players who represented Japan at the World Cup.
Nevertheless, Marinos was also forced to defend the inclusion of the Sunwolves in the same interview, believing that,
The biggest challenge at this point in time is finalising their head coach…
We anticipate that will be in the next week or two. And then there are a number of players that are waiting to understand who that coach is before they then commit.
That interview was published on November 26 but a head coach is still yet to be revealed.
However this morning The Japan Times have reported that both Robbie Deans and Rob Penney have turned down the opportunity to coach the new Super Rugby Franchise.
Deans, who has been linked with both the vacant positions at the Sunwolves and the Japanese national team, was quoted as saying,
I told the JRFU (Japan Rugby Football Union) some time ago that I was not interested in either role.
In fact the former Wallaby coach and winner of seven Super Rugby titles, put further distance between himself and the Sunwolves job, telling the newspaper,
I did 12 years in Super Rugby and won seven tankards — five as head coach and two as manager… I am not looking at returning to international rugby or Super Rugby. I have done my time there.
Although such news will come as a blow to both the Sunwolves and Japan, the decision of Rob Penney to also turn down the job will arguably come as an even greater set back.
As while Deans may have been the Sunwolves Primary choice, Penney was potentially their fallback candidate. The Former Munster and and New Zealand under 20 coach told the same publication,
I have another year left with NTT (Communications Shining Arcs) and am very committed to them. I am really enjoying my role here.
The franchise will be forced to look elsewhere, with the Super Rugby season looming.