|Union||Japan Rugby Football Union|
|Location||Fuchū, Tokyo, Japan|
|Ground(s)||Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium (Capacity: 27,188)|
|League(s)||Japan Rugby League One|
Tokyo Sungoliath (formerly known as Suntory Sungoliath) is owned by the Suntory beverage company and is one of the Japanese rugby union teams in the Top League. The team is based in Fuchū, Tokyo, as is their local rival Toshiba Brave Lupus. The team rebranded as Tokyo Sungoliath ahead of the rebranding of the Top League to the Japan Rugby League One in 2022.
Suntory coached by Katsuyuki Kiyomiya won the Microsoft Cup on February 24, 2008 by defeating Sanyo Wild Knights in a close and exciting game, 14-10. Suntory therefore became the champion of the Top League for the 2007–08 season.
On June 18, 2008 it was announced that George Gregan, the most-capped player in the sport's history, had joined the club on a two-year contract. (Daily Yomiuri, June 19, 2008) Gregan remained with the club until he announced his retirement at the end of the 2010–11 season.
The club was established in 1980, and since then they have won the All-Japan Championship on numerous occasions. They have also compete in the recently formed Top League since its founding in 2003. The team has been improving in the League over the past few years. Suntory Sungoliath famously beat Wales 45-41 on Saturday 3 June 2001 whilst they were on tour in Japan.
In the first season of the Top League, 2003–04, Suntory finished 4th. In 2004–05 they finished 8th. The team was 6th in the 2005–06 season and jumped up to 2nd in the 2006-7 season under new coach Katsuyuki Kiyomiya and assisted by Michael Jones. In 2006 Suntory Sungoliath lost the final of the Top League and Microsoft Cup title to Toshiba Brave Lupus by a score of 33-18. Then in February 2007, Suntory Sungoliath again lost the final of the Top League and Microsoft Cup to Toshiba Brave Lupus before a crowd of 23,076 at Tokyo's Chichibunomiya Stadium (home to Mark Secker), the first sellout at the ground in 10 years, with the final score being just 14-13 to Toshiba Brave Lupus. In the first Top League game of the 2007-8 season Suntory gained revenge over Toshiba with a 10-3 win on October 26, 2007. At the end of the 13-game season Suntory was second behind Sanyo Wild Knights, having lost to Sanyo and by just one point to Coca-Cola West Red Sparks, and drawn 31-31 with Toyota Verblitz in the final round. Sanyo and Suntory met again in the Microsoft Cup final on February 24 to decide the 2007–08 Top League champion. Suntory won that game 14-10 with a very strong mauling attack.
The table begins with the first season of the Top League, 2003-04.
|Season||Order||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||T||G||PG||DG||Penalties||Points For||Points Against||Points Diff||Pts||Coach|
The Tokyo Sungoliath squad for the 2023 season is:
|Tokyo Sungoliath squad|
|(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped|
Japan Rugby League One is a rugby union competition in Japan. It is the highest level of professional rugby competition in the country. The Japan Rugby Football Union created the competition in 2003, by absorbing the Japan Company Rugby Football Championship, to drive up the overall standard and popularity of the sport and improve the results of the Japan national rugby union team. The chief architect of the league was Hiroaki Shukuzawa who strongly felt the urgency of improving Japanese domestic company rugby to a professional level which would allow Japan to compete more convincingly at Rugby World Cups.
Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo is a Japanese rugby union team in the Top League. They are based in Fuchu, Tokyo, as is their local rival Suntory Sungoliath. They won the second ever Top League championship in the 2004-5 season and the Microsoft Cup in 2005 under their innovative and inventive coach Masahiro Kunda, himself a former hooker for Toshiba and Japan. They are particularly known for the strength of their mauls. Before the Top League was created, the team was called Toshiba Fuchu after their location. Their slogan for 2006 season was "Once again to the Pinnacle (Restart)". The team rebranded as Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo ahead of the rebranding of the Top League to Japan Rugby League One in 2022.
The Top League Championship is Japan's highest-level knockout tournament for rugby union clubs. Held annually, the leading teams from the Top League regular season qualify for the playoffs to decide the Cup title. From 2018 onward, the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship has doubled as the Top League Championship Cup. Previously, teams competed for the Lixil Cup, from 2014 to 2016, and Microsoft Cup.
Waseda University R.F.C. was founded in 1918. It is one of the top rugby union clubs for students in Japan, together with Kanto Gakuin University RFC, Keio University RFC and Doshisha University RFC.
Katsuyuki Kiyomiya is a notable Japanese rugby union coach, formerly of Waseda University RFC (2001–06) and now of Suntory Sungoliath. Many in Japan had hoped he would coach the national side in the future however after he criticized the then current coach Eddie Jones in August 2015 support has dramatically dropped. He is the father of Japanese baseball prodigy, Kotaro Kiyomiya.
Thomas Simon Maling is a retired New Zealand rugby union footballer and former All Black. His usual playing position was at lock. He played for most of his rugby career in New Zealand for the Otago Highlanders and the All Blacks from 1996 - 2004 before heading overseas to London to play part of one season at Harlequins in 2004 before heading to Japan. He joined the Scarlets at the start of the 2008–09 European season, leaving Suntory Sungoliath in Japan, where he played for three years from 2005 to 2008. In mid-2009, at age 34, Maling hung up his boots and retired from rugby and returned to his native New Zealand to live.
The 2009–10 Top League was the seventh season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. The Toshiba Brave Lupus defeated Sanyo Wild Knights by 6–0 in the final of the Microsoft Cup to claim their fifth Top League championship.
The 2008–09 Top League was the sixth season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. The Toshiba Brave Lupus defeated Sanyo Wild Knights by 17–6 in the final of the Microsoft Cup to claim the 2008–09 Top League championship.
The 2010–11 Top League was the eighth season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. The Sanyo Wild Knights defeated Suntory Sungoliath 28-23 in the final of the Microsoft Cup to claim their first Top League title.
The details of the 2009 All-Japan University Rugby Football Championships
The 2008 The All-Japan Rugby Football Championship
The details of the 2007 All-Japan University Rugby Football Championships
The 2011 The All-Japan Rugby Football Championship starts on Feb 6th and finishes with the final on Feb 27th.
The 2010 The All-Japan Rugby Football Championship starts on Feb 6th and finishes with the final on Feb 27th.
The 2012 The All-Japan Rugby Football Championship took place from Feb 25th up to the final on March 18.
The 2011–12 Top League was the ninth season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. The Suntory Sungoliath team defeated Sanyo Wild Knights by 47–28 in the final of the Microsoft Cup to claim their second Top League championship.
The 2013–14 Top League was the 11th season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. It kicked off on 30 August 2013. The final was held on 9 February 2014 and won by Panasonic Wild Knights.
The 2013 The All-Japan Rugby Football Championship took place from Feb 2nd up to the final on Feb 24th.
Katsufumi Miyamoto is a former Japanese rugby union player and coach. He played as flanker.
Masaaki Sakata, is a Japanese former rugby union player who played as hooker.