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July 28, 2016 7:58

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21:33 5 February 2016

Rugby: Horie sees benefits from Sunwolves' trial by fire

TOKYO, Feb. 5, Kyodo

Hooker Shota Horie on Friday predicted a difficult debut season for the Sunwolves, Japan's first Super Rugby franchise.

"I believe the first year will be mostly hardship," said Horie, who has played Super Rugby for the Australia-based Rebels. "But if one thinks of the future of Japanese rugby, there will be many positives."

"I want to instill in each and every player the will to form a team."

Horie was among the players who are just now coming together for their medicals and will join up again from Monday in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. The Sunwolves' only warm-up game before their league debut on Feb. 27 will be a game against a Top League XV at Toyota Stadium.

"We have to deliver a performance that won't diminish what we did at the World Cup," lock Hitoshi Ono said.

Prop Keita Inagaki said, "It's important we lay a foundation quickly."

==Kyodo

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