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South Africa: Problems for new Super Rugby franchise

With Eddie Jones linked to the Stormers job, Japan’s new Super Rugby franchise appears to be beset by problems.

Super Rugby will be expanded to 18 teams from next year, with a team from Japan, Argentina and South Africa’s Kings set to join the competition.

Japan coach Jones was initially chosen to coach the Japanese Super Rugby team as well, but he has confirmed he is talks with the Stormers with the Cape franchise reportedly eager to sign the former Wallabies coach.

Jones denied that he had signed a deal with the Stormers but admitted that he had discussions with the franchise.

“I am chatting with (the Stormers) but that’s the extent of it,” he told Reuters on Tuesday. “I am off contract in 2015 and I’m looking at my options.

“Players and coaches sign contracts and do everything they can until the contract comes to an end. But you need to look elsewhere when your contract is coming to an end. That’s professional rugby.”

Jones’ apparent intention to move away appears to have compounded problems for Japan’s new Super Rugby franchise.

According to Kyodo News, a move to Cape Town for Jones could very well suggest that Japan is about to have the franchise taken off them.

Since being awarded a Super Rugby berth in November 2014, Japan’s Super Rugby Association has made just two public announcements.

The first was in April of this year when Jones was named director and the second in May when a competition was launched to name the team.

Since then there has been silence.

The June deadline to name the squad passed and as of last Friday a source close to the team said just five players had signed to play for the side.

As for the name, it was supposed to be announced at the end of July but that has now been postponed until “the end of August or beginning of September.”

The Stormers performed the best of the South African Super Rugby franchises this year, but lost to the Brumbies in a playoff game at Newlands.

The Capetonians have never won the competition.

Their coach, Allister Coetzee, has since moved to Japan to take over Top League side Kobe Kobelco Steelers.

Written by PH

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