All Blacks Pair Join Japanese Super Rugby Franchise The Sunwolves
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A pair of former All Blacks will join Mark Hammett’s coaching team at Japan’s new Super Rugby team the Sunwolves.
One-time Hurricanes stalwart Filo Tiatia will slot in as forwards coach while former Crusaders centre Nathan Mauger will be assistant coach.
Ex-All Blacks hooker Hammett was last month named as the Sunwolves’ inaugural coach less than 10 weeks out from the Tokyo-based outfit’s Super Rugby debut. Tiatia played two Tests for the All Blacks in 2000, and 57 times for the Hurricanes.
He played four seasons with Toyota Verblitz in Japan, also spending time there in a coaching role, as well as working with Japan coach Eddie Jones as a specialist coach. Mauger, who played two games but no Tests for the All Blacks in 2001, has coached at various levels, was a resource coach for the Canterbury Rugby Union.
He says it’s an exciting time for Japanese rugby.
“By having a team in the Super competition will give greater exposure on a global scale. “The key focus in the initial stages is to put systems and structures in place with our Sunwolves players and help get them up to speed.”