Tokyo - Former Australia and current Japan coach Eddie Jones has been appointed Director of Rugby for the Japanese Super Rugby team, which will join the expanded championship next season.
Jones, who guided the Brumbies to their first Super Rugby title in 2001 and the Wallabies to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, has been in charge of the Japan side since 2012 and will lead them to the World Cup in England later this year.
"As the first Director of Rugby, I feel a large responsibility as well feeling fortunate," Jones said in quotes posted in Japanese on the Japanese Rugby Union website.
"More than anything else, though, I look forward to working with staff and players to build a team that represents Japanese rugby.
"With pride and passion we'll take part in Super Rugby and I hope this will give Japanese players experience of rugby at an international level."
The as yet unnamed Super Rugby team, which will be based in Tokyo but play up to four matches a season in Singapore, will compete in one of two South African conferences in the rejigged 18-team competition.
The team is likely to be built around home-based Japanese national team players with the addition of foreign players already at clubs in the country's Top League.
Japan host the World Cup in 2019 and Jones said Super Rugby would be the perfect stepping stone for the country's players as they look to bridge the gap between domestic rugby and the demands of the test arena.
"Taking part in the challenge of Super Rugby is extremely important for Japanese Rugby," the 55-year-old added.
"The tough battles of Super Rugby make it possible to advance from Top League rugby to test match level.
"This will give many Japanese rugby players the chance to play international rugby regularly."