Tokyo and Buenos Aires are likely to be franchise destinations for an expanded Super Rugby competition.
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Japan and Argentina will have teams in an extended Super Rugby competition in 2016, SANZAR confirmed.
The inclusions of franchises from Tokyo and Buenos Aires had been talked about for some time, with the competition’s governing body now ratifying their inclusion.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome the JRFU and UAR who will join the Kings from South Africa as Super Rugby prepares to expand into a bold and exciting new era,” SANZAR chief Greg Peters said in a statement.
“As top 10 ranked rugby nations with established high performance level leagues and over 100,000 players each, there is no doubt as to Japan and Argentina’s rugby readiness and passion for the sport.
“With a heritage stretching back some 115 years, Japan also offers tremendous infrastructure and an active fan base that we view as pivotal to the ongoing sustainability of the team.”
Japan’s inclusion was seen as a mere formality, with the Asian country holding the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“Joining the world’s highest international league is a challenge that will require significant transformation and tremendous efforts by us. However, it will certainly bring innovation to not only Japan, but also the Asian region as a whole,” chairman of the JRFU, Tatsuzo Yabe said.
Both the Japanese and Argentinian teams will play in the South African Group and will be positioned in seperate conferences.