|Full name||Canon Eagles|
|Union||Japan Rugby Football Union|
|Region||Machida, Tokyo, Japan|
The Canon Eagles is a Japanese rugby union team founded in 1981 that competes in the Top League and is owned by Canon based in Machida, Tokyo, Japan. According to the official website, it was founded as Canon Rugby Team in 1980, and determined the nickname Eagles in 2010.
When the rugby team was promoted to the Top East regional league, it played there for the seasons 2008-2009 through 2011-12. With season 2009-2010 the team successfully established itself with place 8 of 12 teams, the next year it was undefeated in its league, and set up to win for two consecutive seasons 2010-11 and 2011–12, both times qualifying for the Top Challenge series of the next level Top League, earning the nickname Eagles.
In the 2010–11 Top Challenge series, the best placed regional teams from East Japan, West Japan, and Kyushu played each other in a round-robin tournament. The Eagles ranked 3rd, advanced to the Top League promotion and relegation play-offs, but lost 31 - 19 against the NTT Communications Shining Arcs, which remained in their league for the next season.
In the 2011-12 Top East regional league season, the team again topped the competition and qualified directly for the four-team Top Challenge One series. The Eagles beat Toyota Industries Shuttles 46 - 24 in their first-round game, then beat Kubota Spears 37 - 24 on their next game before losing 68 - 17 to Kyuden Voltex in their final game. However, the team topped the Top Challenge table to qualify for the 49th All Japan Rugby Football Championship as the Top Challenger. They won the first round (against Teikyo University), but lost the Quarter Final (to the NEC Green Rockets). More important, the team also won promotion to the next level Top League for the following season.
The 2012–13 Top League season did mark their debut in this highest competition class, ending with 11th place of 14 teams on table on 19 points with 3 wins and 10 losses. The team did not qualify again for entry into the 50th All Japan Rugby Football Championship, but remained in the Top League nonetheless.
In the 2013–14 Top League regular season 16 teams participated in 2 pools/groups of 8. In the round-robin tournaments of the pool stage the Canon Eagles in Pool A reached 4th place on 20 points with 4 wins and 3 losses and went through to Group 1 in the group stage with 1 starting point. In the round-robin tournaments of the group stage the team in Group 1 reached 7th rank on 8 points with 1 win and 6 losses, and retained the place in the Top League for the next season. The Eagles went on to the wildcard play-offs for entry into the 51st All Japan Rugby Football Championship.
The qualified Group 1 and Group 2 teams played off over two rounds, with the second round winners competing in the Championship Tournament. The team lost 25 – 41 in its first round against the Kintetsu Liners, which failed to advance after round two the week later.
In the 2014–15 Top League regular season 16 teams again participated in 2 pools/groups of 8. In the pool stage round-robin tournaments the Canon Eagles in Pool A reached 3rd place on 23 points with 4 wins and 3 losses and went through to Group 1 in the group stage with 2 starting points. In this stage's round-robin tournaments the team in Group 1 once more reached 7th rank on 8 points with 1 win and 6 losses, retaining a Top League place for the Eagles for another season. The team went on to the wildcard play-offs for entry into the 52nd All Japan Rugby Football Championship.
The qualified Group 1 and Group 2 teams played off over two rounds, with the second round winners competing in the Championship Tournament. The Eagles lost 10 – 14 in their first round against the NEC Green Rockets, which advanced after winning round two to participate in the first stage of the Championship.
Owing to the 2015 Rugby World Cup and Japan's entry into the 2016 Super Rugby tournament, the format of 2015–16 Top League season was altered from the previous year. A pre-season competition with four pools was staged to provide each Top League team with five matches before the regular season started. The Canon Eagles in Pool D finished third with 1 draw and 2 losses, gaining 4 points and qualifying for 9th–12th place semifinals. At the end of pre-season the team reached 10th rank beating Yamaha Jubilo 27 – 24, but losing 25 – 48 against the NTT Communications Shining Arcs.
In the regular season the 16 teams participated again in 2 pools/groups of 8. In pool stage round-robin tournaments the Eagles in Pool A reached 4th place on 25 points with 5 wins and 2 losses, advancing directly to the title play-offs. The set Group 1 and Group 2 teams played off over two rounds, with the second round winners competing for the first four ranks.
The Eagles already lost 6 – 46 in their first round against the Panasonic Wild Knights, which went on to not only win the title against the Toshiba Brave Lupus but also a shortened 53rd All Japan Rugby Football Championship in the end. The Canon Eagles beat the Kintetsu Liners 24 – 18 and lost 17 – 48 to the Toyota Verblitz, finishing the season with 6th rank.
The 2016–17 Top League regular season saw all 16 teams competing in a round-robin style tournament where they played each other once. This time there were no title-play-offs, the team on top after the round-robin stages was crowned the champion. The top three teams progressed to the 54th All Japan Rugby Football Championship to play a National University Rugby Championship finalist probably for the last time, with the Suntory Sungoliaths completing a league and cup double. The Eagles reached 7th place in total on 37 points with 8 wins and 7 losses, keeping their mid-field position in an adapted Top League for the next season.
The current Canon Eagles squad is:
|Canon Eagles squad|
|(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped|
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- "Bilan de fin de saison: Canon Eagles (10/16)". Japon Rugby (in French). 4 March 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Top League Japan Team List, japonrugby.net (French)".
- "Canon Eagles Top League Profile 2013-14, Japan Rugby Football Union".
- "Canon Eagles 2013-14 Season End Balance, japonrugby.net (French)".
- "Japan - National Championship Season 2014/15 - Top League, rugbyarchive.net (English)".
- "Japan - National Championship Season 2015/16 - Top League, rugbyarchive.net (English)".
- "Rugby: National Championship to exclude Universities". Kyodo News. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017.
- "Japan - National Championship Season 2016/17 - Top League, rugbyarchive.net (English)".
- "メンバー紹介" [Members Introduction]. Canon Eagles. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- Official website
- Canon Eagles Official Site, old version. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2014 through Wayback Machine.
- Canon Eagles Top League Profile for 2013-14, Japan Rugby Football Union
- Canon Eagles Team Profile at japonrugby.net
- Rugby Japan Canon Eagles Team Page (Japanese)
- Canon Eagles Instagram Page