One 'A' League in Japan?

One 'A' League in Japan?

Post by Jason Cormie » Fri, 12 Apr 2002 02:44:39


Currently, there are three unions: East Japan/Kanto, Kansai, and West Japan.
Each has semi-professional division 1-4 league teams. The only time they
play each other in meaningful competition is when the top 16 (usually
division 1) teams meet in the All-Japan professional tournament in
December&January. This might change with a new All-Japan top league. I think
it's a great idea but the fight to get in should be interesting, whether
it's purely by on-field merit, a decision at the corporate level or a
combination of both.

My guess is that...

Kobe Steel
World
Toyota
Suntory
Toshiba
Sanyo
NEC

...are certain to get in. I'll be interested to see who joins them.

----------

Japan may have new rugby league

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has launched a project
to create a nationwide top league by regrouping the country's three major
regional leagues for corporate clubs, JRFU officials said Tuesday.

The JRFU envisions that the new league will be inaugurated for the 2003-2004
season with the participation of 10 to 12 teams playing in the eastern
Japan, Kansai and western Japan leagues.

"We've come up with this idea in an attempt to increase the number of close
matches and enhance the competitiveness of Japanese rugby," JRFU executive
Noboru Mashimo said at a press conference in Fukuoka.

The Japan Times: April 11, 2002

 
 
 

One 'A' League in Japan?

Post by Bryan Ra » Fri, 12 Apr 2002 14:36:32

Quote:
> Kobe Steel
> World
> Toyota
> Suntory
> Toshiba
> Sanyo
> NEC

IBM, Kubota, and Sanix would be my next choices... and if you want 12 teams
then add Kaneka and Ricoh or maybe Nippon Steel

but what would this do to the university teams? would all national squad
members then be forced to switched to a corporate team? would these
corporate teams become fully professional?

interesting decision, but it sounds like a good one for Japanese rugby

cheers,
Bryan Ray

 
 
 

One 'A' League in Japan?

Post by Jason Cormie » Fri, 12 Apr 2002 23:38:49


Quote:

>> Kobe Steel
>> World
>> Toyota
>> Suntory
>> Toshiba
>> Sanyo
>> NEC

> IBM, Kubota, and Sanix would be my next choices... and if you want 12 teams
> then add Kaneka and Ricoh or maybe Nippon Steel

I could see Sannix, though some wonder if they will continue to pour the
money in since they haven't traditionally. While not as competitive
recently, Kyushu Electric Chugoku Denka and Mazda have been there over the
long term. Kaneka is very unlikely; Kansai is more likely to promote
Kintetsu, Honda or Toyota Jido (likely the frst two.) Ricoh would be a good
bet but IBM is another team that doesn't have the long term history at the
'A' level.

My guess is that the JRFU might decide on a regional breakdown (e.g. 5 East
Japan, 5 Kansai and 2 West Japan) and let the unions sort it out. Once
that's done, the national body would take over admin.

Quote:
> but what would this do to the university teams?

As far as the national comp is concerned? My prediction (without any
indication one way or the other in the media) is that the league would have
its own championship comp and then a national ladder cup tournament open to
all teams (similar to soccer's Emperors Cup)  to replace the current
national tournament.

Quote:
> would all national squad
> members then be forced to switched to a corporate team?

I doubt they would be forced at first but, much like you see in Europe, the
top domestic players would, through transfers, free-agency, etc., gravitate
to these teams eventually.

Quote:
> would these
> corporate teams become fully professional?

I doubt it. The economy is going in the wrong direction. Many company teams
(in all sports) are being shut down and privately run teams (unless its
baseball) mostly seem to be swimming in a sea of red ink. That's the reason
I think health of the company will count as much, or even more, than the
historical quality of the teams in choosing which 12 make it.

Quote:
> interesting decision, but it sounds like a good one for Japanese rugby

I agree. I just hope it's a proper, full-season league. (i.e. 22 games and
some sort of cup tournament)

 
 
 

One 'A' League in Japan?

Post by Terry Ker » Mon, 15 Apr 2002 14:49:20

Quote:

> Currently, there are three unions: East Japan/Kanto, Kansai, and West Japan.
> Each has semi-professional division 1-4 league teams. The only time they
> play each other in meaningful competition is when the top 16 (usually
> division 1) teams meet in the All-Japan professional tournament in
> December&January. This might change with a new All-Japan top league. I think
> it's a great idea but the fight to get in should be interesting, whether
> it's purely by on-field merit, a decision at the corporate level or a
> combination of both.

> My guess is that...

> Kobe Steel
> World
> Toyota
> Suntory
> Toshiba
> Sanyo
> NEC

> ...are certain to get in. I'll be interested to see who joins them.

> ----------

> Japan may have new rugby league

> FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has launched a project
> to create a nationwide top league by regrouping the country's three major
> regional leagues for corporate clubs, JRFU officials said Tuesday.

> The JRFU envisions that the new league will be inaugurated for the 2003-2004
> season with the participation of 10 to 12 teams playing in the eastern
> Japan, Kansai and western Japan leagues.

> "We've come up with this idea in an attempt to increase the number of close
> matches and enhance the competitiveness of Japanese rugby," JRFU executive
> Noboru Mashimo said at a press conference in Fukuoka.

> The Japan Times: April 11, 2002

IMHO it will make very little difference to the overall standard as the
players are a product of a seriously flawed playing structure at high
school and below. The poor playing structure is compounded by poor
coaching at these levels and also at university and company levels.
Getting top overseas coaches and players in at the top levels does
nothing to address the systemic problems that are never addressed.

Currently Japan A are in NZ and just played South Island Universities,
half of which consisted of Club Division 2 players due to club
committments for Canterbury and Lincoln University and they had only 1
practice together and frankly, Japan A struggled.

They are most fortunate that their traditional opponent NZ Universities
is now a team that is not what it once was due to professionalism.

To show the level of Japanese rugby currently look at the results when
they include foreign players in their national side and when they do not
eg last Eurpoean tour

In about 1987 or 1988 Canterbury University from Christchurch played the
national side in Japan and beat them. That is a club side (albeit a very
strong one) beating a national side.

Removing the foreign players would see a similar result against the
stronger club sides from Australia and NZ even now.

To change the result they must be truely prepared to alter what is
currently happening at lower levels.