Since leaving South Africa's Currie Cup and Super 14 Lions for a new challenge in the form of Suntory Sungoliath in the Japanese Top League, USA rugby captain, Todd Clever has been doing very well for himself. He has been scoring tries and he has earned man of the match awards. His new club have benefited grealy since his arrival and with him on the field have been a a better side.
This month has seen Clever play three matches for Suntory Sungoliath for three wins. He made his debut for the club on October 02 in his sides 92-8 demolition of Toyota Shokki. It was his first game since injuring his shoulder playing for the Lions in the Super 14. A week latter, Clever won man of the match in his sides 34-8 victory against the Kubota Spears. On October 17 he did even better in scoring three tries as and winning man of the match vs the Coca Cola Red Sparks.
Clever is not the only test player at Suntory. Rather, he is surrounded by some truely elite players. Suntory is the home of former Australian captain and 1999 Rugby World Cup champion, George Gregan. Fellow Australian, Peter Hewat plays for the club as does Samoa´s Tusi Pusi, and Japanese internationals including Go Aruga, Takamichi Sasaki, Ryan Nicholas, Keisuke Sawaki, Hirotoki Onozawa and Koji Taira. All in all, it is a recipe for Clever to enter Rugby World Cup 2011 in good shape and if his form continues he could be one of the best players at the tournament. His form for what is the top level of the country that will host Rugby World Cup 2019 underlines the contribution of the Americas to global rugby and further suggests that Rugby World Cup 2023 should be hosted by the Americas powerhouse, Argentina.