World Cup winner and Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn has spoken in support of the Sunwolves amid speculation the Japanese franchise could be punted from Super Rugby.
Governing body SANZAAR is set to discuss the future of Super Rugby at World Rugby meetings in Dublin this week, with the Sunwolves' future reportedly up in the air.
The Reds defeated the Tokyo-based club 34-31 in a thrilling match on Saturday - the Sunwolves' fourth defeat from five matches this season.
Despite that record, the Sunwolves' 2019 campaign has included their first win on the road against the Chiefs in round three as well as narrow losses to the Waratahs and Blues.
The Sunwolves looked on track for another win on Saturday after opening up a 21-5 halftime lead against the Reds in front of a packed crowd at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium before being overrun in the second half.
Thorn said he was hopeful the Sunwolves would remain in the competition.
"You look at that game today, look at the Sunwolves this season, they've been outstanding," Thorn said.
"It's so good for rugby in Japan, look at the crowd. I know as a team, we love coming here too.
"I think it would disappointing and sad if the Sunwolves were no longer a part of it."