Stan Sport secures rights to Japan’s League One rugby competition

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• Stan Sport’s coverage of League One begins on Saturday 8 January 2022

Stan Sport will be the exclusive broadcaster of Japan’s premier domestic rugby competition in 2022 with two matches to be shown ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport each round. Replacing the Top League, the newly named Japan Rugby League One competition will feature twelve teams split into two six-team conferences. The season is set to kick off on January 7 with Stan Sport’s coverage beginning the following day for Sungoliath v Brave Lupus on Saturday 8 January.

Japan’s premier domestic Rugby competition is growing in stature every year and continues to attract some of the world’s biggest names to an already outstanding domestic tournament. The eyes of the Rugby world will be on former Wallaby and Super Rugby try scoring record-holder Israel Folau who will line up for the Shining Arcs alongside ex-Wallaby Liam Gill. NRL try scoring machine Blake Ferguson will join former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who is the director of rugby at the Green Rockets. 

At Sungoliath, Wallabies heavy hitter Samu Kerevi and flanker Sean McMahon will join All Blacks star, Damian McKenzie. Rugby fans can also catch fan favourites such as former Wallaby fly-half Bernard Foley amidst a strong overseas contingent at Kubota Spears, while Wallaby star winger Marika Koroibete will line up for reigning champions Saitama Wild Knights.

The inaugural season of Japanese Rugby League One will see teams in Division One play the five other teams in their conference twice, in a home and away format. In addition to the regular home and away conference matches, there will be inter-conference matches in which teams will play all six teams outside their conference once. As such, each Division One team will play ten conference matches and six inter-conference matches, for a total of 16 matches in the regular season.

Stan director of sport Ben Kimber said “Featuring some of the biggest names in world Rugby, this new comp will continue to demonstrate how the game in Japan is going from strength to strength. And for Stan Sport Rugby viewers, these matches complement an already massive lineup of top quality Rugby year round on Stan Sport.”

Japan Rugby League One teams and notable players

Black Rams Tokyo: Isaac Lucas (AUS), Matt Lucas (AUS), Joe Tomane (AUS)
Green Rockets Tokatsu: Blake Ferguson (AUS), Gehamat Shibasaki (AUS), Tom Marshall (NZL)
Kobelco Kobe Steelers: Aaron Cruden (NZL), Ben Smith (NZL), Tom Franklin (NZL)
Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay: Bernard Foley (AUS), Malcolm Marx (RSA), Ryan Crotty (NZL)
NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes Osaka: Elton Jantjies (RSA), Tyler Paul (RSA), Wimpie van der Walt (JPN)
Saitama Wild Knights: George Kruis (ENG), Marika Koroibete (AUS), Semisi Tupou (AUS)
Shining Arcs Tokyo-Bay Uraysu: Israel Folau (AUS), Greig Laidlaw (SCO), Liam Gill (AUS)
Shizuoka Blue Revs: Isi Naisarani (AUS), James Dargaville (AUS), Kwagga Smith (RSA)
Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath: Damian McKenzie (NZL), Samu Kerevi (AUS), Sean McMahon (AUS)
Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo: Michael Leitch (JPN), Matt Todd (NZ), Seta Tamanivalu (NZL)
Toyota Verblitz: Patrick Tuipulotu (NZ), Pieter-Steph du Toit (RSA), Willie Le Roux (RSA)
Yokohama Canon Eagles: Amanaki Mafi (JPN), Jesse Kriel (RSA), Yu Tamura (JPN)

Stan Sport’s coverage of Japanese Rugby – League One rugby begins on Saturday 8 January 2022 with Sungoliath v Brave Lupus – streaming live, ad-free and on-demand from 5:30pm AEDT.

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