The Sunwolves have unveiled their new Super Rugby coach. Japan Super Rugby Association Representative Director, Yoshitaka Tashiro, announced in Tokyo that the HITO-Communications Sunwolves had come to an agreement with Filo Tiatia on a two-season contract. Tiatia was the forwards coach last season under Head Coach Mark Hammett.
Commenting on the appointment Yoshitaka Tashiro said, “There is no doubt that he has more than enough experience not only as a player, including two caps as an All Blacks, but also as a coach at the international level.”
“We expect that the experience he had last season as a forwards coach with the Sunwolves will continue the great dynamics within the team and we are confident he will strengthen the team further next season with this experience behind him.”
Commenting on his appointment Tiatia said, “I am very excited to become the Head Coach of the Sunwolves next season and honored to take over what Mark Hammett built in our first season. Next season is going to be part of the continuing process of learning but we will have to face new challenges and need to improve areas of our game further.”
“I am looking forward to working with the players and staff I worked with in the 2016 season. We are a young franchise and I look forward to the ongoing support of our new fans who were very supportive in our first season.”
Japan Rugby Head Coach Jamie Joseph sees the appointment as a positive move, “His leadership will be crucial as the Sunwolves embark on their second season. His experience with players gives him huge understanding of the challenges that lay ahead and I can't wait to help Filo and the rest of the team develop in 2017.”
Filo Tiatia Biography
Date of Birth: June 4th, 1971
Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Tiatia won two Caps as an All Blacks, played 99 matches for the Ospreys (Wales) (Pro12) and played 57 times for the Hurricanes (Super Rugby). He also played 57 matches for Toyota-Verblitz from 2002-2006.
After his player career, he has successively filled various coaching posts, such as a Head Coach of Toyota-Verblitz and the Ospreys LV Cup team. In 2016 he was a forwards coach for the Sunwolves and also assisted the Japan-National Team (Lipovitan D Challenge Cup 2016).