This will be Sanix’s 12th season in the Top League after they comfortably secured their top-flight status last campaign with an 11th-placed finish having yo-yoed between the Top League and regional leagues in recent years.
Two fresh faces at Sanix for the 2017-18 season are centres Andre Esterhuizen, who joins from Sharks, and Andre Taylor, who made the move south from Kintetsu Liners. The Kyushu-based outfit lacked ruthlessness sometimes last season and failed to kill off games, reflected in the fact that they were the only club alongside Honda Heat not to pick up a try bonus point.
Sanix’s biggest downfall last season, however, was in the lineout. They won just 75% of their own throws, the lowest lineout success-rate in the league by far, losing 2.8 throws on average per game last term. Former Highlanders and Crusaders hooker Jason McDonald has been promoted from scrum coach to forwards coach for the 2017-18 season, taking over from Hare Makiri, and will be looking to address the issue.