Dan Carter’s Kobe Kobelco Steelers and Matt Giteau’s Suntory Sungoliath will face off on Saturday for the for the Japan Top League crown.
This year’s final, which is being played on the 15th December, will also double as the All-Japan Championship final and will be played in Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokoyo.
The Steelers, who were the inaugural champions backing in 2003-04, won their only title back when the competition was decided after a round robin format, while Suntory will be gunning for their sixth trophy since then.
This fixture also sees an old Southern Hemisphere rivalry reignite as Dan Carter and Matt Giteau are set to face off in the No. 10 positions. Other foreign players also taking part in the fixture are Grant Hattingh, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Hayden Parker.
Matt Giteau and Dan Carter have been named in the starting XVs for Sungoliath & Kobelco Steelers for the #TopLeague final— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) December 13, 2018
The pair have faced off in a Top 14, Super Rugby and RWC Final previously 🏆 #Revivalry
Full Lineups: https://t.co/1smEeQOLjY pic.twitter.com/ejKxTr2WN5
How Both Team’s Got To The Final
Players to Watch Out For
Dan Carter – The three-time IRB Player of the Year has been in sensational form for his club side until now and played a crucial part in their semi-final win against Toyota Verblitz. The former New Zealand international scored a try and, kicked four penalties and two conversions last weekend.
Carter’s is the competitions highest point scorer with 113 points, the No. 10 has scored four tries in total, kicked 15 penalties and slotted 24 conversions.
Matt Giteau – The former Australian international, Giteau, kicked a 42-meter penalty in the fifth minute of sudden-death extra time to clinch a 28-25 victory over Yamaha Jubilo at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground last week.
The former utility back is the tournaments third highest points scorer with 71 points. Giteau has scored only one try this season but has kicked six penalties and has 24 conversions to his name.
Image credit: KRPU