Hating Europe is easy. They do as they please, take the best players, and are generally untrustworthy. However, Japan, the unrecognized wolf, is quietly becoming a rugby powerhouse. Despite their 1995 World Cup defeat, they have made strides, with 75% corporate backing helping them climb. They’ve made changes to their Top League, allowing foreign players and reshaping the league schedule. The introduction of the Sunwolves to Super Rugby was met with opposition, but Japan continues to attract top talent from around the world, impacting Australian and South African teams. The Top League has even attracted top Super Rugby teams to Japan, and more and more players are choosing Japan over their home countries. All of this has sparked tension between the rugby unions of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Japan’s recent success has led to questions about the future of Japanese and Super Rugby and the commercialization of the sport. Ultimately, the rise of Japan in rugby is changing the landscape of the sport both domestically and internationally.

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