While the Sunwolves face an exit from Super Rugby, they will continue to lure some of SA’s best players to the Top League in Japan, former Lions loose forward Willie Britz believes.
Britz, who plays for the Shining Arcs, has spent the last five years in Japan.
He said he could understand why the country was such a big drawcard for players and coaches.
“For rugby in Japan it won’t make that
much of a difference. They always lure big names,” Britz said.
He nonetheless admitted their absence from the Super Rugby series could give the sport a knock, with the Sunwolves having displayed steady improvement in recent years.
“The Japan national team also used a lot of the Sunwolves players as a stepping stone,” Britz said.
The influx of foreign players, he felt, had nonetheless benefited the domestic game in Japan.
“The level of the game is high,” Britz said.
“I have been here for five years and the quality has picked up a great deal. The overseas players who have come over have helped lift the standard and improve the game.”
Japanese clubs had also lured a lot of top international coaches, which further raised the standard, and Britz was pleased with his decision to settle abroad.
“There have also been no paycuts,” he said.
The situation is different because the clubs are company driven and they don’t rely that much on the income of [the sport].”