Get to Know: Toyota Verblitz
We’ve run the rule over the Toyota Verblitz ahead of next weekend’s exhibition game against the Melbourne Rebels.
Here’s everything you need to know about the club:
Full name: Toyota Verblitz
Location: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
Home Ground: Mizuho Rugby Stadium
Coach: Jake White
How are they going this season?
Pretty good. Toyota go into the month long mid-season break third on the Red Conference table with six wins from their opening nine games of the season. Toyota go into the Top League’s hiatus with a 33-24 victory over rivals Toyota Industries.
How did they go last year in 2016-17?
The Verblitz finished last year in eighth place overall with seven wins and eight losses for 35 points.
Why the turn around this year?
Jake White. The Verblitz appointed the South African head coach ahead of the 2017-18 season. White led South Africa to the 2007 Rugby World Cup title and has coached Super Rugby with the Brumbies. Before he joined Toyota, White was coaching in France with Montpellier.
Are there any Rebels connections?
Rebels new head coach David Wessels was an assistant coach to Jake White at the Brumbies in 2012. Former Rebels lock Dominic Day made nine appearances for the Verblitz during the 2016-17 Top League season before he signed with Melbourne for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
Do the Verblitz have any international stars?
They sure do! Former Wallaby Wycliffe Palu has played for the Verblitz for the last two seasons. Capped 58 times for the Wallabies over a decade in the green and gold, Palu moved to Japan after 12 years with the Waratahs. South African international backrower Juan Smith called Toyota home until his retirement last week. The 2007 Rugby World Cup winner represented South Africa on 70 occasions from 2003-2014, including at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 World Cups.
What are the game details:
Toyota Verblitz v Melbourne Rebels
Sunday 12 November 2017
2.00pm (local) / 4.00pm (AEDT).