There will be a Filipino who will play in the inaugural season of Japan Rugby League One.
Philippine Volcanoes standout Benjamin Saunders will suit up for NTT DoCoMo Osaka for the second straight season.
The Fil-Australian centre played in eight games last season for the Red Hurricanes, helping the squad to a quarterfinals berth in the final season of the Top League. However, Osaka fell to Toyota, 29-33, in the final eight of the competition.
From 2013-20, Saunders played for Toyota, making 58 apps there.
Other international players for the Red Hurricanes are South Africa’s Franco Marais, Lourens Erasmus, Ruan Vermaak, Tyler Paul, Tian Meyer, Elton Jantjies, and Gianni Lombard; Tonga’s Lui Naeata, Samisoni Tua, and Tonisio Vaihu; and Scotland’s Nick Grigg.
In the new league seen as revolutionary in world rugby, 12 teams will compete in 16 rounds of action.
NTT DoCoMo Osaka will face Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo tomorrow at Yodoko Sakura Stadium. Saunders, though, will not be fielded for the contest.