Super Rugby 2019: Sunwolves paving way for rise of Japan as international force

While most of the talk around the proposed World Rugby League has focussed on the Pacific Islands, Japan's set to be one of the big winners from the controversial shake-up.

The changes would expose the 'Brave Blossoms' to more games against the world's best sides and help build on the foundations created by the Sunwolves an-going adventure in Super Rugby.

Stand-in Sunwolves coach Scott Hansen believes Japan is becoming quite the hotbed for international rugby's finest players.

"You've got guys like Kieran Read and those guys also going up there now at the moment so it's seen as a place you can still go to and contribute," Hansen told Newshub.

"Growing the game in Japan and Asia, it's got to be something that's seen as a priority, and going forward, having the World Cup there is going to be huge for the game."

With Jamie Joseph sole 2019 focus being the Rugby World Cup, Hansen has picked up the reins at the Sunwolves. Under his watch, they secured a first away win against the Chiefs last weekend, and Hansen believes Japanese rugby is on the precipice of a great era.

"We've got to turn those kids who become inspired in the game, into players, not one year but two, and continue that," he said.

New Zealand nomad Phil Burleigh's played in Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, Scotland, and now Tokyo.

He's been impressed by his new team-mates at the Super Rugby franchise.

"Incredibly hard working, especially the Japanese boys, they love a fast brand of footy and that's our style," Burleigh said.

"Last week after the game boys hanging around for about an hour and a half signing autographs and talking to media and pretty different to probably back home ."

That win over the Chiefs is just the start. After breaking a 24 game-losing streak outside of Asia, Hansen is promising more great results are on the horizon.

"There's a lot of things we could have done better so we've focussed on that this week, it really has been a week about recharging the energy and filling the tank."

It starts with Saturday night's trip to Albany with Japanese rugby set to flex their muscles on a wounded Blues.