TOKYO – The Sunwolves have named their Super Rugby squad and it includes former Chiefs back Robbie Robinson and Bulls wing Gerhard van den Heever.
Also included is former Highlanders flyhalf Hayden Parker in a strong looking group as Jamie Joseph's men look to improve on last season.
Among the dozen new faces presented were South African-born flank Wimpie van der Walt and Jaba Bregvadze, a Georgian hooker who has played top-flight rugby in England and France.
Michael Leitch, Ruan Smith, Shota Horie, Grant Hattingh, Sam Wykes, Ed Quirk and Willem Britz are also in the squad.
Sunwolves’ coach Jamie Joseph said he was targeting a top-five finish next season, despite the team being on the wrong end of multiple hidings in recent years.
Joseph who also coaches Japan's national team, told reporters that fans could expect a "much stronger team than we've had in the past two seasons" as he unveiled a new squad.
The Tokyo-based Sunwolves are playing in the five-team Australian conference this season and are replacing the Western Force who were removed out of the competition as the format downsized.
The Sunwolves ended last season bottom of the South African Group with two wins to their name, with only the Rebels having a worse record.
The Sunwolves squad:
Props: Keita Inagaki, Asaeli Aivalu, Jiwon Koo, Ruan Smith, Craig Millar
Hooker: Jaba Bregvadze, Shota Horie
Lock: Grant Hattingh, Sam Wykes, Kazuki Himeno, Uwe Helu,
Backrow: Edward Quirk, Shunsuke Nunomaki, Wimpie van der Walt, Willem Britz, Michael Leitch.
Scrumhalf: Fumiaki Tanaka
Flyhalf: Yu Tamura, Hayden Parker
Centre: Harumichi Tatekawa, Timothy Lafaele
Outside backs: Gerhard van den Heever, Kenki Fukuoka, Akihito Yamada, Lomano Lava Lemeki, Robbie Robinson.