Japan name Jones as coach

2011-12-26 11:10
Eddie Jones (File)

Tokyo - Former Australia coach Eddie Jones has been appointed head coach of Japan's national rugby team to replace All Blacks legend John Kirwan, the Japan Rugby Football Union said on Monday.

Jones, 51, took the Wallabies to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and was technical adviser to South Africa when the Springboks won the 2007 World Cup in France.

His wife is Japanese and he has been managing Japan's Top League side Suntory Sungoliath since 2009.

In the 2010-2011 season, Suntory finished runners-up in the Top League and won the separate national championship under Jones. This season they are currently leading the Top League after eight straight wins.

He emerged as Kirwan's likely successor after Japan came home winless from the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Japan will host the World Cup in 2019 and will be looking to avoid the embarrassment of becoming the first host country to fail to make the knockout stages.

Kirwan failed to break the Brave Blossoms' 20-year World Cup win drought at the New Zealand tournament. He opted not to seek a new contract when his current five-year deal expires at the end of this month.


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