Quade Cooper's out-of-the-box solution for bringing Super Rugby to Japan
The Sunwolves notched a total of just eight wins in its four completed seasons.
Cooper agrees the experiment didn’t quite work, and he has come up with an out-of-the-box solution: let some Australian and NZ teams play in the Japanese competition.
“A lot of the time we think of it as putting a team in Japan to have an opportunity to compete in Super Rugby,” Cooper said.
“But the competition that is very strong at the moment is the Japanese league. So in my mind you would be inviting a team from Super Rugby to come over here and join into that.
“We’ve tried it the other way around, we put the Sunwolves in, and it wasn’t the best experience. But the fan base here (in Japan) is amazing, the strength of the companies is amazing.
“Everything here seems to be going in the right direction. I feel like at some point it has to be taken into consideration.
“You might incorporate two of the Australian teams and two of the New Zealand teams.”
"Those who have tuned into Super Rugby AU every weekend may believe that the Australian sides – particularly the Reds and Brumbies – are more than a match for their Kiwi rivals." ? @TomVinicombe ?? https://t.co/AIkcF8SEGo pic.twitter.com/t4rC8CFoVr
— The XV Rugby (@TheXV) April 8, 2021
Genia is also keen to see some type of cross-nation competition featuring teams from NZ, Australia and Japan.
“There’s an abundance of talent here,” Genia said.
“Japan at some point has to be incorporated into Super Rugby. We’re in the same time zone, you’ve got quality players.
“And if you look at some of the strong top league teams – Suntory, Kubota – as their rosters sit, they’d be competing with Super Rugby teams, I have no doubt.”
Genia and Cooper have loved their time in Japan, and both are keen to extend their stay there.
The duo will be in action again on April 17 when the playoffs begin to earn promotion into the Japanese Top League.
– Justin Chadwick
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