2022 Japan Rugby League One – Division 1

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The 2022 Japan Rugby League One – Division 1 was the inaugural season of Japan’s new professional three-tier Rugby union competition. It consisted of twelve franchises and played five teams twice and six teams once resulting in each team playing a total of sixteen games home and away.[1] The top four sides at the end of the regular season contested the annual play-offs, whilst the bottom three sides went into a promotion and relegation playoff against the top three sides from the 2022 Japan Rugby League One – Division 2.[2] The champions were the Saitama Wild Knights for the second season in a row. They beat Tokyo Sungoliath in the final 12–18.

Teams and personnel[edit]

A total of twelve teams will participate in the inaugural Division 1 season:

Locations of the 2022 Division 1 teams
2022 Division 1 teams in Greater Tokyo Area
Club Prefecture Coach Stadium Capacity
Black Rams Tokyo
リコーブラックラムズ東京
Tokyo Peter Hewat Komazawa Olympic Park Stadium 20,010
Green Rockets Tokatsu
NECグリーンロケッツ東葛
Chiba Robert Taylor Kashiwanoha Stadium 20,000
Kobe Steelers
コベルコ神戸スティーラーズ
Hyōgo Dave Dillon Noevir Stadium Kobe 30,132
Spears Funabashi
クボタスピアーズ船橋・東京ベイ
Chiba Frans Ludeke Edogawa Stadium 6,950
Red Hurricanes Osaka
NTTドコモレッドハリケーンズ大阪
Osaka Johan Ackermann Yodoko Sakura Stadium 25,000
Saitama Wild Knights
埼玉パナソニックワイルドナイツ
Saitama Robbie Deans Kumagaya Rugby Ground 24,000
Shining Arcs Urayasu
NTTコミュニケーションズ シャイニングアークス東京ベイ浦安
Chiba Hugh Reece-Edwards Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 27,188
Shizuoka Blue Revs
静岡ブルーレヴズ
Shizuoka Naoya Okubo Yamaha Stadium 15,165
Tokyo Sungoliath
東京サントリーサンゴリアス
Tokyo Milton Haig Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 27,188
Brave Lupus Tokyo
東芝ブレイブルーパス東京
Tokyo Todd Blackadder Ajinomoto Stadium 49,970
Toyota Verblitz
トヨタヴェルブリッツ
Aichi Simon Cron Paloma Mizuho Rugby Stadium 15,000
Yokohama Eagles
横浜キヤノンイーグルス
Kanagawa Keisuke Sawaki Nissan Stadium (Yokohama) 72,400
Updated to match(es) played on unknown. Source: league-one.jp
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Number of wins; 3) Point difference.
(C) Champion; (O) Relegation play-off winner(s); (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. ^ The Red Hurricanes were automatically relegated to the lowest-tier in the Japan Rugby League One (Division 3), as the team underwent a reorganisation. The Japan Rugby League One Board of Directors accepted an application by the team to participate in the third division.[3] As a result, the first-placed team in Division 2 (Hanazono Liners) was automatically granted promotion, with the teams in second and third, qualifying for promotion/relegation fixtures.[3]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Numerous teams that were awarded bonus-point victories (due to COVID-19 disruptions), automatically received a three-converted try result (21–0) in their favour, as well as a try bonus-point (five points) added to their tally in addition to there regular seasonal results. The total list of teams that are included are:
    • Three try bonus-point victories: (15 points)
    • Two try bonus-point victories: (10 points)
    • One try bonus-point victory: (5 points)

Fixtures[edit]

Each team were to play five teams twice and six teams once for a total of sixteen home and away matches.[4][5]

Updated to match(es) played on 29 May 2022. Source: league-one.jp
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
Notes:
  1. ^ Because the Black Rams returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests, the Spears were awarded a bonus point win.
  2. ^ Red Hurricanes returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Black Rams were awarded a bonus point win.
  3. ^ Blue Revs returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Black Rams were awarded a bonus point win.
  4. ^ Green Rockets returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Sungoliath were awarded a bonus point win.
  5. ^ Steelers returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Red Hurricanes were awarded a bonus point win.
  6. ^ Match was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Wild Knights camp, the Spears were awarded a bonus point victory.
  7. ^ Shining Arcs returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Red Hurricanes were awarded a bonus point win.
  8. ^ Red Hurricanes returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Blue Revs were awarded a bonus point win.
  9. ^ Match was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Wild Knights camp, the Green Rockets were awarded a bonus point victory.
  10. ^ Shining Arcs returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Green Rockets were awarded a bonus point win.
  11. ^ Blue Revs returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Steelers were awarded a bonus point win.
  12. ^ Blue Revs returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Sungoliath were awarded a bonus point win as a result.
  13. ^ Verblitz were awarded bonus point win as a result of the Steelers’ positive COVID-19 tests.
  14. ^ Red Hurricanes returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Verblitz were awarded a bonus point win.
  15. ^ Blue Revs returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Thus Verblitz were awarded a bonus point win.
  16. ^ Verblitz returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Sungoliath were awarded a bonus point win.
  17. ^ Black Rams returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests and could not field a side. Brave Lupus were awarded a bonus point win.

Relegation play-offs[edit]

The relegation play-offs took place on 20 and 28 May 2022.[citation needed]

Overview[edit]

Matches[edit]

All times Japan Standard Time (JST) (UTC+9)

Green Rockets v Honda Heat

Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Aoyama
Attendance: 2,269
Referee: Shuhei Kubo
Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka
Attendance: 1,068
Referee: Kenki Furuse

Green Rockets won 55–34 on aggregate, and therefore both clubs remained in their respective leagues.

Shining Arcs v Mitsubishi DynaBoars

Mitsubishi DynaBoars won 44–66 on aggregate, and replaced the Shining Arcs in the Japan Rugby League One – Division 1

Season play-offs[edit]

Bracket

Semi-finals[edit]

Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Aoyama
Attendance: 15,482
Referee: Yu Kawahara

Third place play-off[edit]

Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Aoyama
Attendance: 6,974
Referee: Yosuke Kimura

Final[edit]

National Stadium, Kasumigaoka (Tokyo)
Attendance: 33,604
Referee: Shuhei Kubo

Statistics[edit]

The statistics do not include any additional points, tries, etc. that may have been acquired in play-off matches.

International players[edit]

The Japan Rugby League One holds a foreign player quota. Each Division 1 side are allowed a maximum of three “Category C” players: players who have represented a national team in international rugby that isn’t Japan. The Japan Rugby League One also has two other categories of player (A, B), however, there is no limit on the number each team can have for those two category’s.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]