Japan has no need of 'divine intervention' after Jones jibe

2018-11-12 18:57
Jamie Joseph
Jamie Joseph (AP)

London - Japan coach Jamie Joseph has insisted his side have no plans to follow Eddie Jones advice to "go to the temple and pray" ahead of their match against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

England boss Jones, himself a former Japan coach, also promised his current side would be "ruthless" against the 2019 World Cup hosts as they looked to get last weekend's agonising 16-15 loss to world champions New Zealand at Twickenham out of their system.

But former All Blacks lock Joseph said that while Japan would look to the heavens in the hope of dry weather that suits their preferred fast-paced handling game, that was as far as it went.

"When we've got the ball and guys are really excited about playing, we've got a different style of play; we're not as big as others, but we're quick," said Joseph in London on Monday.

"In tough conditions it's tough to get our game going, so we're hoping and praying for a bit of weather. I'm not sure I'm going to the temple though!", he said laughingly.

Joseph was as enthralled as anyone in a capacity crowd of more than 82 000 at a rainswept Twickenham last weekend as the All Blacks recovered from 15-0 down to edge England.

"Our players all watched the England match; I went to the Test match, loved it," he said. "Those types of games are exactly what rugby's all about in my view.

"But I suspect the game that we play, how the All Blacks play, and the fact England have had a few matches, it could be a little bit different this weekend," he added.

"We just play our rugby, we like to play quick, we're not as big as other sides," the former Highlanders coach explained.

"We don't want rain come kick-off time, and I think we've shown over the last couple of years if we can get our game going we can push teams hard."

Reflecting on England's performance against New Zealand, which saw them outscore the visitors two tries to one, Joseph said "You could say they were unlucky against the All Blacks.

"But my focus really is just to go out there and make sure we can do our very best against a very good England side."

Japan are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time next year, having produced the biggest upset in rugby union history when, with Jones as their coach, they beat South Africa 34-32 in pool play during the 2015 edition in England.

"We're getting a lot of experience and I think we are on track for the World Cup," said Joseph. "In terms of development in the last few years we've had some good performances and that experience is helping."

Read more on:    england  |  japan  |  eddie jones  |  jamie joseph  |  rugby


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