Japan name Jones as coach

2011-12-26 11:10

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.


  • 58kiwi - 2011-12-26 12:49

    Stupid move. This joker has been an opportunist his whole career. He inherited a great team from Rod Macqueen in 2001 and made it to the World cup final in 2003. At the same time he let the team get old and cost the Wallabies dearly the next few years. He also gets no credit for the World cup win by South Africa just by being in SA at the time (poisoning of the ABs aside). The guy a loser. Bad move Japan.

      Dmitri - 2011-12-26 13:14

      I thought that 58 was your age, but it appears as if it is your IQ (inflated). You really need to end 2011 with a smile, not being so sour...

      Barry - 2011-12-26 16:11

      @58 cannot agree with you. Sounds like you are actually jealous of him. I think he ranks quite highly as a rugby coach.

      Michael - 2011-12-26 16:39

      I for one cant agree more with kiwi.. Then again it's our opinion. When he was with the reds they had suffered a horrible downward spiral, capped off with a nearly 90point whipping at the hands of the bulls. Seems like a nice enough guy and must have some techical know how regarding the game, so would accept him as an assistant or some type of advisor but, i for one is happy he isnt coaching my team though.

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