Japan planning for launch of new pro rugby league - Katsuyuki Kiyomiya

The league is set to kick-off in 2021
The league is set to kick-off in 2021

Japan Rugby Football Union vice president Katsuyuki Kiyomiya said a plan to unveil a new professional rugby league is on track for the autumn of 2021.

The 12 venues that are set to host the World Cup later this year in Japan will be venues for the new tournament with a formal announcement to come in November.

Kiyomiya said the board has already got the consent of six to eight Top League teams and might also include Japanese Sunwolves, who are set to be excluded from Super Rugby competition from the 2020 season.

“This is the first step to changing Japanese rugby,” Kiyomiya said during a sports business symposium during the Sports X Conference.

With the annual expenditure of Japanese Rugby third in the world, Kiyomiya stressed on the need to have a commercial setup to attract the stakeholders.

“When you spend 28.6 billion, you earn as much in return — you should be able to form a structure like that".

The tournament is expected to be scheduled between September and February with 12 teams in contention from as many cities that will host the upcoming World Cup.