The Bledisloe Cup is a rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand, competed for since the 1930s. The frequency at which the competition has been held and the number of matches played has varied, but as of 2016, it consists of an annual three-match series, with two of the matches counting towards The Rugby Championship. New Zealand have had the most success, winning the trophy for the 47th time in 2018, while Australia have won 12 times. There is some dispute as to; the Australian Rugby Union contend. However, no firm evidence has been produced to support this claim, minutes from a New Zealand union management meeting several days record Lord Bledisloe wishing to present a cup for the All Blacks and Wallabies to play for; the New Zealand Rugby Union believe that the first match was when New Zealand toured Australia in 1932. Between 1931 and 1981 it was contested irregularly in the course of rugby tours between the two countries. New Zealand won it 19 times and Australia four times in this period including in 1949 when Australia won it for the first time on New Zealand soil.
The trophy itself was apparently'lost' during this period and rediscovered in a Melbourne store room. In the years 1982 to 1995 it was contested annually, sometimes as a series of three matches and other times in a single match. During these years New Zealand won it 11 times and Australia three times. Since 1996 the cup has been contested as part of the annual Tri Nations tournament; until 1998 the cup was contested in a three match series: the two Tri Nations matches between these sides and a third match. New Zealand won these series in 1996 and 1997, Australia won it in 1998. In 1996 and from 1999 through 2005, the third match was not played. If both teams won one of these games, or if both games were drawn, the cup was retained by its current holder; the non-holder had to win the two games 1 -- 0 to regain the Cup. A criticism of this system was that with the closeness in the level of ability between the two sides, years where each team won one game each were common and in these years, many rugby fans felt dissatisfied with one team keeping the cup in a series tied at 1–1.
2006 saw the return of the 3-game contest for the Bledisloe Cup as the Tri Nations series was extended so that each team played each other 3 times. The 2007 Cup, reverted to the two-game contest because the Tri Nations was abbreviated that year to minimise interference with the teams' preparations for the World Cup; the three-match format for the Bledisloe Cup continued in 2012, with the first two matches taking place as part of the 2012 Rugby Championship. In 2008 it was announced that the Bledisloe Cup would be contested over an unprecedented four matches, with three games played in Australia and New Zealand and a fourth and deciding game in Hong Kong in an effort to promote the game in Asia; the Hong Kong match, which drew a crowd of 39,000 to see the All Blacks defeat the Wallabies 19–14, proved to be a financial success for the two unions, generating a reported £5.5 million. A 2010 fourth match was again set in Hong Kong Stadium but failed to attract sufficient ticket sales; the capital Tokyo hosted a fourth Bledisloe Test match on 31 October 2009.
Each team expected to clear at least A$3.8 million/NZ$5 million from the Tokyo match. On 27 October 2018, Bledisloe Cup returned to Japan for the second time and was hosted in Yokohama with the purpose of promoting and preparing for 2019 Rugby World Cup. All Blacks beating Wallabies 37-20 in the third test to sweep the series; the attendance figures was around 46,000. The poor ticket sales included about 10% arrived via giveaways because of clashing with the fixture between Japan and World XV a day before in Osaka and lack of competitiveness of Wallabies contributing to dead rubber match of the series. Before the first match in Hong Kong, the two countries' rugby federations were considering taking Cup matches to the United States and Japan in 2009 and 2010. However, the proposed match in USA did not come to fruition. Behind the push from World Rugby with their League of Nations concept, only one match result would count for League of Nations points but the new season schedule must be able to accommodate a second Test each year in the new format.
The gate receipts from Bledisloe Cup match ups are critical to both Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby Union and both nations are firm in their belief that one home match is mandatory. The third Bledisloe, which has long been a cash cow for both nations, could cease to exist. Any cash lost from forfeiting that match would be compensated by A$18 million per year in League of Nations broadcast revenue. In 2018 edition, Black Ferns and Wallaroos played Tests as curtain-raisers to both Bledisloe Cup Tests in Sydney and Auckland; the crowd at the end of both women's Tests swelled to about 28,000. The women's double-header concept was deemed as a success by NZR CEO Steve Tew, open to repeating the concept. For the equivalent match at Eden Park in 2016 before the men's clash, the crowd size peaked at 12,500. In Australia, the Bledisloe Cup was televised between 1995 by Network Ten. Since 1996, Fox Sports has televised it, they jointly televised it with Seven Network between 1996 and 2010, Nine Network in 2011 and 2012 and Network Ten since 2013.
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying the genetic instructions used in the growth, development and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids; the two DNA strands are known as polynucleotides as they are composed of simpler monomeric units called nucleotides. Each nucleotide is composed of one of four nitrogen-containing nucleobases, a sugar called deoxyribose, a phosphate group; the nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. The nitrogenous bases of the two separate polynucleotide strands are bound together, according to base pairing rules, with hydrogen bonds to make double-stranded DNA; the complementary nitrogenous bases are divided into two groups and purines. In DNA, the pyrimidines are cytosine. Both strands of double-stranded DNA store the same biological information.
This information is replicated as and when the two strands separate. A large part of DNA is non-coding, meaning that these sections do not serve as patterns for protein sequences; the two strands of DNA are thus antiparallel. Attached to each sugar is one of four types of nucleobases, it is the sequence of these four nucleobases along the backbone. RNA strands are created using DNA strands as a template in a process called transcription. Under the genetic code, these RNA strands specify the sequence of amino acids within proteins in a process called translation. Within eukaryotic cells, DNA is organized into long structures called chromosomes. Before typical cell division, these chromosomes are duplicated in the process of DNA replication, providing a complete set of chromosomes for each daughter cell. Eukaryotic organisms store most of their DNA inside the cell nucleus as nuclear DNA, some in the mitochondria as mitochondrial DNA, or in chloroplasts as chloroplast DNA. In contrast, prokaryotes store their DNA only in circular chromosomes.
Within eukaryotic chromosomes, chromatin proteins, such as histones and organize DNA. These compacting structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins, helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed. DNA was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher in 1869, its molecular structure was first identified by Francis Crick and James Watson at the Cavendish Laboratory within the University of Cambridge in 1953, whose model-building efforts were guided by X-ray diffraction data acquired by Raymond Gosling, a post-graduate student of Rosalind Franklin. DNA is used by researchers as a molecular tool to explore physical laws and theories, such as the ergodic theorem and the theory of elasticity; the unique material properties of DNA have made it an attractive molecule for material scientists and engineers interested in micro- and nano-fabrication. Among notable advances in this field are DNA origami and DNA-based hybrid materials. DNA is a long polymer made from repeating units called nucleotides.
The structure of DNA is dynamic along its length, being capable of coiling into tight loops and other shapes. In all species it is composed of two helical chains, bound to each other by hydrogen bonds. Both chains are coiled around the same axis, have the same pitch of 34 angstroms; the pair of chains has a radius of 10 angstroms. According to another study, when measured in a different solution, the DNA chain measured 22 to 26 angstroms wide, one nucleotide unit measured 3.3 Å long. Although each individual nucleotide is small, a DNA polymer can be large and contain hundreds of millions, such as in chromosome 1. Chromosome 1 is the largest human chromosome with 220 million base pairs, would be 85 mm long if straightened. DNA does not exist as a single strand, but instead as a pair of strands that are held together; these two long strands coil in the shape of a double helix. The nucleotide contains both a segment of the backbone of a nucleobase. A nucleobase linked to a sugar is called a nucleoside, a base linked to a sugar and to one or more phosphate groups is called a nucleotide.
A biopolymer comprising multiple linked nucleotides is called a polynucleotide. The backbone of the DNA strand is made from alternating sugar residues; the sugar in DNA is 2-deoxyribose, a pentose sugar. The sugars are joined together by phosphate groups that form phosphodiester bonds between the third and fifth carbon atoms of adjacent sugar rings; these are known as the 3′-end, 5′-end carbons, the prime symbol being used to distinguish these carbon atoms from those of the base to which the deoxyribose forms a glycosidic bond. When imagining DNA, each phosphoryl is considered to "belong" to the nucleotide whose 5′ carbon forms a bond therewith. Any DNA strand therefore has one end at which there is a phosphoryl attached to the 5′ carbon of a ribose and another end a
Highlanders (rugby union)
The Highlanders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Dunedin that compete in Super Rugby. The team was formed in 1996 to represent the lower South Island in the newly formed Super 12 competition, includes the Otago, North Otago and Southland unions; the Highlanders take their name from the Scottish immigrants that helped found the Otago, North Otago, Southland regions in the 1840s and 1850s. Their main ground through the 2011 Super Rugby season was Carisbrook in Dunedin, with home games being played in Invercargill and Queenstown; the Highlanders moved into Carisbrook's replacement, Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza, for the 2012 season. They finished the inaugural season eighth, the following season finished last after winning only three of eleven matches. However, in the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons they qualified for semi-finals, they lost the match 24–19, the following year were again knocked out by the Crusaders—this time in their semi-final. In the following fifteen seasons they would only finish in the top four once more, in 2002.
But in 2015, they were crowned Super Rugby champions after beating the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium. Current Highlander, Ben Smith has played a record 129 games for the Highlanders, thirteen other players have played over 50 games for the team; the Highlanders' highest career points scorer is Lima Sopoaga with 866 points, highest career try scorer is Jeff Wilson with 35. They are coached by Aaron Mauger and are co-captained by Ben Smith and Ash Dixon; the Highlanders' franchise was created as one of five New Zealand teams in the Super 12. Named the Otago Highlanders, the Highlanders' franchise area encompassed the lower South Island of New Zealand, was formed from the North Otago and Southland provincial rugby unions; the 1996 team was coached by Gordon Hunter. Their first Super 12 match was against the Queensland Reds at Carisbrook on 3 March 1996, whom they defeated 57–17. After three matches the Highlanders were leading the competition; however the following week at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in South Africa they were defeated 59–29 by Northern Transvaal.
They only won two more games that season, against Natal at Carisbrook and against the Canterbury Crusaders at Lancaster Park, they finished the season eighth on the table.1997 was the least successful season for the Highlanders. They finished last in the competition, managed only three wins, they were now captained by Taine Randell. Their eight defeats that season included a 75–43 loss to Natal in Durban; the points scored by Natal included 50 points by Gavin Lawless – a competition record. Following their last place in the 1997 season, Tony Gilbert was appointed as coach, their first game under his guidance was an upset 26–19 win over the Queensland Reds. The Highlanders became the first New Zealand side to defeat all four South African teams in one season. After defeating the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld they needed the Queensland Reds not to defeat the Brumbies by a large margin. Queensland were defeated by the Brumbies 23–16 and the Highlanders finished fourth, thus qualifying for the semi-finals.
In the semi-final, they faced defending champions the Auckland Blues at Eden Park. The Blues were leading 20–16 at halftime, were leading 30–26 before a controversial try to Adrian Cashmore pushed the Blues to a 37–26 lead. Joeli Vidiri had illegally taken out Highlander Stanley off the ball; the following season in 1999 the Highlanders improved on their 1997 season record by reaching and hosting the tournament final. They opened their season with a 19–13 victory over the Auckland Blues at Carisbrook; this was followed by a victory over the Northern Bulls, the Stormers at Carisbrook, the Cats, before their first loss of the season to the Sharks. They returned to New Zealand to defeat the Waikato Chiefs and the Crusaders. After defeating the Reds, the Highlanders lost to the New South Wales Waratahs at Carisbrook; the next week they defeated the Brumbies at the same venue. In their next match, despite leading the Wellington Hurricanes 14–3 at half time, the Highlanders lost when Hurricanes half back Jason Spice scored in the corner to give the Hurricanes a 21–19 victory.
Had the Highlanders won they would have finished top of the table and hosted a semi-final at Carisbrook. Instead they had to travel to South Africa where they defeated the Stormers 33–18; the Highlanders travelled back to Dunedin for the 1999 Super 12 Final, against South Island rivals the Canterbury Crusaders, was billed as "the party at Tony Brown's house" after Highlanders first five-eighth Tony Brown. The Highlanders scored first, led 14–9 at half time; however the decisive try was to Crusaders wing Afato So'oalo, who chipped the ball out-sprinted All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson to collect the ball and score. Although the Highlanders scored a try to Isitolo Maka with three minutes remaining, the Crusaders won 24–19; the Highlanders opened their 2000 season with a 50–13 victory over the Queensland Reds at Carisbrook. They won their next three matches, against the Sharks and Cats; however they lost their following three. They played the Crusaders at Jade Stadium in their semi-final, were defeated 37–15 after Marika Vunibaka scored two tries for the Crusaders in the last 20 minutes.
The next season opened with a 23–8 victory over the Blues. Their 39–20 defeat of the Waratahs at
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players, its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; the opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may be awarded for penalties, field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, is a popular sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, South Auckland in New Zealand, southwest France and Lebanon.
The Super League and the National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European and Pacific Island countries, is governed by the Rugby League International Federation; the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954. Rugby league football takes its name from the bodies that split to create a new form of rugby, distinct from that run by the Rugby Football Unions, in Britain and New Zealand between 1895 and 1908; the first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union. Both organisations played the game under the same rules at first, although the Northern Union began to modify rules immediately, thus creating a new faster, stronger paced form of rugby football. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves "rugby football leagues" and introducing Northern Union rules.
In 1922, the Northern Union changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as "rugby league" football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. Although many factors played a part in the split, including the success of working class northern teams, the main division was caused by the RFU decision to enforce the amateur principle of the sport, preventing "broken time payments" to players who had taken time off work to play rugby. Northern teams had more working class players who could not afford to play without this compensation, in contrast to affluent southern teams who had other sources of income to sustain the amateur principle. In 1895, a decree by the RFU banning the playing of rugby at grounds where entrance fees were charged led to twenty-two clubs meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and forming the "Northern Rugby Football Union". Within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution.
In 1897, the line-out was in 1898 professionalism introduced. In 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball. A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Australia. There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Bateman's Hotel in George Street. Rugby league went on to displace rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales and Queensland. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, England, setting a new record for attendance at a rugby football match of either code. In 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the fourth tackle a scrum was to be formed; this was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover.
1967 saw. The first sponsors, Joshua Tetley and John Player, entered the game for the 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season. Television would have an enormous impact on the sport of rugby league in the 1990s when Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought worldwide broadcasting rights and refused to take no for an answer; the media giant's "Super League" movement saw big changes for the traditional administrators of the game. In Europe, it resulted in a move from a winter sport to a summer one as the new Super League competition tried to expand its market. In Australasia, the Super League war resulted in long and costly legal battles and changing loyalties, causing significant damage to the code in an competitive sporting market. In 1997 two competitions were run alongside each other in Australia, after which a peace deal in the form of the National Rugby League was formed; the NRL has since become recognised as the sport's flagship competition and since that time has set record TV ratings and crowd figures.
The objective in rugby league is to score more points through tries and field goals than the opposition within the 80 minutes of play. If after two halves of play, each consisting of forty minutes, the two teams are drawing, a draw may be declar
Blues (Super Rugby)
The Blues are a professional rugby union team based in Auckland, New Zealand who play in the Super Rugby competition. Like New Zealand's four other Super Rugby teams, the Blues were established by the NZRU in 1996. One of the most successful teams in Super Rugby history, the Blues won the competition in its first two seasons, 1996 and 1997, again in 2003. Additionally, the team were finalists in 1998 and semi-finalists in 2007 and 2011. Along with New Zealand's other Super Rugby sides, the Blues were established by the NZRU to take part in the newly formed Super 12 competition which, involved teams from South Africa and Australia in addition to New Zealand; each of New Zealand's five sides represented a number of provincial unions, with the Blues representing the Auckland, Counties Manukau and Thames Valley unions, while the neighbouring Waikato Chiefs representing the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, King Country and North Harbour unions. As the amount of international representatives in the Auckland region was thought to be unfair, it was split up between The Blues and The Chiefs.
During this era, the Blues played the majority of their home matches at Eden Park, with round robin fixtures held at Growers Stadium in Pukekohe. The Blues tasted immediate success, winning the Super 12 back-to-back in 1996 and 1997. In 1996 the side won eight of eleven round robin matches and finished the regular season in second place (behind the Queensland Reds on 41 points, they went on to defeat Northern Transvaaal, now the Bulls, 48–11 in the semi-final at Eden Park. This result secured a home final, where the Blues comfortably defeated the Sharks 45–21. In 1997, the side improved on their previous season, comfortably topping the table with 50 points after going undefeated in the regular season, the sole blemish on an otherwise perfect season being a draw with Northern Transvaal in a re-match of the previous season's semi-final; the Blues once again won their semi-final, defeating the Sharks 55–36 at Eden Park and again securing a home final. The 1997 final was a more hard fought encounter than the previous year's, with the Blues defeating the ACT Brumbies 23–7.
By the end of the 1990s the number of international representatives from the Blues region had decreased. This led the Blues and the Chiefs to arrange a swap, where the Chiefs would represent the Thames Valley and Counties Manukau provincial unions in exchange for the Blues representing the Northland and North Harbour unions in addition to Auckland. Although in the seasons leading up to the trade North Harbour and Northland had outperformed Counties Manukau and Thames Valley in provincial rugby, it enabled both teams to represent unions in closer geographical proximity; because of this trade, the Blues lost. Thus, the Blues traded a portion of South Auckland for the Northern portion of the Auckland region and Northland, still do not represent the entire Auckland region. Supporters in the South Auckland region identify as Blues supporters though they are technically in the Chiefs region. In 2000, the Auckland Blues dropped the Auckland prefix from their name, became known as'Blues'; the 1998 season saw the Blues again top the points table with 43 points at the conclusion of the round robin, with nine wins and two losses to their credit.
They defeated the Otago Highlanders by 37–31 in the side's third consecutive home semi-final, securing a home final against the Crusaders, a match which promised a great deal due to Auckland's traditional sporting rivalry with Canterbury. The Crusaders won the match by 20–13, putting an end to the Blues' dominance of the competition. From 1999 – 2002 the Blues' onfield performance was poor, missing the playoffs every season, finishing at an all-time low of 11th on the ladder in 2001 with just four wins for the season; the club was able to turn its from around in the 2003 season, topping the ladder with 49 points and 10 wins from 11 matches. The team went on to defeat the ACT Brumbies by 42–21 in the semi-final, before beating the Crusaders 21–17 in the final for the team's third Super Rugby title; the Blues were unable to follow their 2003 success up in 2004 and 2005 however, missing the playoffs in both seasons. The expanded 14 team competition couldn't have started worse for the Blues, who were in 2006 forced by the NZRU to include North Harbour captain Rua Tipoki in their squad of 24 players who are'protected' from the draft.
Tipoki was to be excluded from the draft due to personal circumstances to stay in Auckland. Andrew Mehrtens had in the past done this with the Crusaders; the NZRU however forced coach David Nucifora to pick Tipoki in his 24-man squad and hence drop another player. It is believed the NZRU was in favour of dropping players such as Isa Nacewa who are ineligible to play for the All Blacks. Instead, Nucifora excluded All Black Isaia Toeava, who subsequently played for the Hurricanes in 2006. Following the draft fiasco, the forgettable season which followed, the Blues showed signs of resurgence in 2007, finishing the round robin in fourth place, securing a semi-final against the Sharks in Durban; the travel and form of the opposition were too difficult to overcome, with the Blues losing to the eventual runners-up by 34 – 18. The 2008 season, the final under coach David Nucifora, saw the team finish the season with an 8 – 5 record and a sixth-place finish on the ladder. In 2009, Pat Lam was appointed as coach, however the team was not able to make significant improvements under his leadership for the remainder of Super 14, mi
The Sunwolves – known as the HITO-Communications Sunwolves for sponsorship reasons – is a professional rugby union team and is Japan's representative team in SANZAAR's international Super Rugby competition. The team is based in Tokyo, but plays some home matches in Singapore, they made their debut in Super Rugby in 2016. Since its launch in 1996, the SANZAR-organised Super Rugby competition was limited to teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In 2011, it was announced that SANZAR would expand its international Tri Nations competition to include Argentina, which resulted in that competition being rebranded as The Rugby Championship; this led to rumours that Argentina would seek to have teams included in the Super Rugby competition and SANZAR confirmed that they would explore expansion to other regions in future. However, since SANZAR sold the existing Super Rugby package to its broadcasters for the period 2011–15, it meant that no changes to the format would be permitted until the 2016 season.
In 2013, SANZAR CEO Greg Peters announced that Super Rugby would be expanded from the 2016 season onwards, adding that South African franchise the Southern Kings would be one of the expansion teams. In early 2014, SANZAR confirmed that Super Rugby would be increased from 15 to 18 teams starting from the 2016 season, with Argentine side Jaguares getting one of the additional spots, it was confirmed that both Argentina and the 18th team would participate in the South African Conference. Asia emerged as the preferred destination for the final licence and Japan and Singapore emerged as the main contenders to get the franchise. With a number of factors counting in Japan's favour – such as their domestic professional league being able to attract big-name foreign players, the country being awarded the hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Japanese national team breaking into the top ten of the World Rugby rankings for the first time in their history in 2014 – they were subsequently granted the licence for the 18th franchise in October 2014 – with an agreement reached that Singapore would host three of their home matches each season at the Singapore Sports Hub.
The new expanded format and three new teams were formally approved by the SANZAR Executive Committee in November 2014. In April 2015, the JRFU established a corporation called Japan Super Rugby Association that would manage the operations of the team. A number of key appointments were made. In May 2015, a website was launched to ask fans for team name suggestions. However, several doubts were raised against Japan's ability to set up the team on time. In August 2015, Eddie Jones announced that he would leave his role as Director of Rugby amid speculation linking him to the vacant Stormers head coach position. Subsequent media reports stated that governing body SANZAR were exploring alternative plans for the 2016 Super Rugby competition which excluded the Japanese team, but the JRFU commented shortly after, confirming that they have met SANZAR's requirements by contracting players and other personnel by their end-of-August deadline; the validity of the player list submitted were questioned, with many players included not "generally associated with the national team".
There were suggestions that Top League teams requested that their players' appearances be limited in Super Rugby and that Top League matches would be prioritised. However, they were included in the Super Rugby fixture list that came out on 28 September 2015 and on 5 October 2015, it was announced that the team would be known as the Sunwolves. In May 2015, a website was launched to ask fans for team name suggestions; this was scheduled to be revealed at the end of July 2015, before being postponed to August. On 5 October 2015, it was announced; this name was chosen from 3,320 entries and is a combination of the "Land of the Rising Sun" and the wolf, chosen to represent bravery, strength and an ethos of teamwork. The team's logo was launched on the same date. On 15 January 2016, the Sunwolves announced that they would be known as the HITO-Communications Sunwolves following a sponsorship agreement; the following table summarises the Sunwolves' results in their Super Rugby seasons: Legend: PF = Points for, PA = Points against, Pos = Log position, Ch = Champions, RU = Runners-up, SF = Semifinal appearance, QF = Quarterfinal appearance.
The Sunwolves have played in the following kits since their inception: The Sunwolves split their eight home matches between Japan and Singapore during the 2016 Super Rugby season. Five home games were played at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo and three home games were at Singapore National Stadium; the squad for the 2019 Super Rugby season: The following coaching team was appointed for the 2019 Super Rugby season: Rugby union in Japan Top League Super Rugby Ganbatte Trophy Official website JRFU website
Super League (Australia)
Super League was an Australian rugby league football administrative body that conducted professional competition in Australia and New Zealand for one season in 1997. Along with Super League of Europe, it was created by News Corporation during the Super League war which arose following an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the pay television rights to rugby league in Australia. After two years of legal battles the competition was played for a single season in 1997 alongside the rival Australian Rugby League competition before the two merged in 1998 to form the National Rugby League; the Super League war was the corporate dispute, fought in and out of court during the mid-1990s between the Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation-backed Super League and the Kerry Packer and Optus Vision-backed Australian Rugby League organisations over broadcasting rights for, control of the top-level professional rugby league football competition of Australasia. After much court action from the already-existing ARL to prevent it from happening, Super League ran one premiership season parallel to the ARL's in 1997 after signing enough clubs disenchanted with the traditional administration to do so.
At the conclusion of that season a peace deal was reached and both Leagues united to form the National Rugby League of today. Ten clubs competed in domestic competition; the teams were: The Telstra Cup was a ten team competition held over 18 rounds. The season was dominated by the minor premiers, the Brisbane Broncos, who won 14 of their 18 matches, losing only to the Penrith Panthers, the Hunter Mariners and eventual runners-up, the Cronulla Sharks; the Grand Final was played at Brisbane's ANZ Stadium in front of 58,912 people, the ground record for that venue. The Broncos defeated the Sharks 26–8 to win their third premiership; the Auckland Warriors had teams in both the Reserve grade and two age-group Grand Finals but lost all three. The winners in all grades were: 1st Grade/Seniors Grade: Brisbane Broncos 2nd Grade/Reserve Grade: Canterbury Bulldogs 3rd Grade/Under-19s: Penrith Panthers 4th Grade/Under-17s: Brisbane Broncos The Super League Tri-series was contested by New South Wales, New Zealand and Queensland.
Each team played the others once, with the best two teams playing a final. New South Wales defeated Queensland 23–22 in the final at ANZ Stadium In 1997 the Super League Australia team played two games against New Zealand, winning the inaugural ANZAC Test and losing the return match. At the end of the season Australia played a three-Test series against Great Britain in the British Gas Test series. Australia won the series by two games to one. Although these matches are considered to be Tests by the New Zealand Rugby League and the English Rugby Football League, they are not recognised by the Australian Rugby League; as News had signed up most rugby league organisations outside of Australia, the ARL was starved of international competition. They had intended playing a team of New Zealand players signed with ARL clubs but the New Zealand Rugby League took out an injunction in the Federal Court preventing the ARL from using the terms "Test", "Representative Team", "New Zealand" or "All Golds"; the ARL instead played Tests against rebel teams from Papua New Guinea and Fiji, as well as playing a Test against a Rest of the World team in July 1997.
The Oceania Cup was run by Super League in place of the Pacific Cup. It was contested by the Cook Islands, Tonga, New Zealand Māori, New Zealand XIII and Papua New Guinea. New Zealand XIII defeated New Zealand Maori 20–15 in the final; the World Club Challenge, contested since 1975, was expanded in 1997 to include all ten Australian Super League clubs competing against all twelve European clubs. The European teams were outclassed, winning only 8 of 83 matches, suffering many heavy defeats; the competition was unpopular in Australia, it lost $6,000,000 due to small crowds and heavy travel expenses. The Brisbane Broncos won the final defeating the Hunter Mariners 36–12 at Ericsson Stadium, Auckland; the Super League Challenge Cup competition was played between the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. The Australian Capital Territory won the competition, defeating the Northern Territory 40–14 at ANZ Stadium Brisbane on 19 May 1997. In 1996 and 1997 the Super League World Nines competition was held.
In 1997 the tournament was known as the Gatorade Super League World Nines due to sponsorship. Nines rugby league is a faster form of the game with only nine players per side and playing in shorter halves; the World Nines competition were held as an alternative to the ARL's World Sevens. The 1996 World Nines were held in Fiji from 22 to 24 February; the winner of this competition was New Zealand. The 1996 World Nines marked the first time; the 1997 World Nines were held in Queensland from 31 January to 2 February. New Zealand won this competition for the second year in a row; as the Rugby Football League had signed with News Corporation, a twelve team club competition was held from 1996 in Europe. Although Super League damaged the public perceptions and financial standing of rugby league in Australia, a number of concepts that it introduced lived on into the new millennium. An addition to the regular tests played between Australia and New Zealand, the ANZAC Test was introduced by Super League. There was some controversy at the time for the use of the word ANZAC, as many considered it inappropriate to compare sportspeople to soldiers.
Although it was dropped from the annual schedule in the early years of the new millennium, it was revived in 2004 and was played annually until 2017. The