Japan beats S'pore to get 18th Super Rugby team in 2016

SYDNEY - Japan has beaten out Singapore to win the right to host the 18th Super Rugby team when the southern hemisphere provincial competition expands for the 2016 season, governing body SANZAR said on Friday.

The Singapore bid effectively conceded defeat on Thursday, leaving the way open for Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which will host the World Cup in 2019, to put together Asia's first team in the championship. "SANZAR will now work exclusively with the JRFU to finalise arrangements for their entry in to Super Rugby, subject to execution of the formal participation agreement," Greg Peters, the chief executive of South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby (SANZAR) said in a statement.

The new format of the competition will feature two South African conferences, one of which will include the Asian team, and coincides with the renegotiation of the broadcasting agreements that financially underpin it.