Former Top League head coach Katsuyuki Kiyomiya, currently a Japan Rugby Football Union vice president, announced Sunday a proposal for a new Japanese professional rugby league.

The proposed league, which would begin operation in the autumn of 2021, would be based at the 12 venues being used to host games for this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan. A formal announcement of the plan is slated for November.

"The only way to change Japanese rugby is by professionalizing it," said Kiyomiya, who had previously coached Waseda University as well as Suntory Sungoliath and Yamaha Jubilo in the Top League.

The new league, he explained, will be a transition away from the current Top League to a new setup and could include the Japan Sunwolves, who are being excluded from Super Rugby after the 2020 season.

Kiyomiya said he had spoken to Top League clubs and said that six to eight "strongly agreed" with the plan. He said the new league's season would run from September to January or February.