Head coach, The Japan National Rugby Union Team
Monday, November 02, 2015, 14:00 - 15:00
Japan recently returned from its Rugby World Cup campaign in England with its head held higher than ever before. Not only did the Brave Blossoms beat the mighty South Africans with a thrilling late try, but they won three out of their four games in the tournament.
Unfortunately a heavy defeat to Scotland -- much of which can be attributed to scheduling of the match only days after Japan's epic win over the Springboks -- meant the team became the first ever to miss out on the quarter finals after three victories (having picked up less bonus points than their rivals).
Impressive performances from players such as full-back Ayumu Goromaru and captain Michael Leitch captivated millions at home in Japan. But the team's true leader was coach Eddie Jones, who has taken Japan into the world's Top Ten. Eddie has agreed to come to the Club to discuss the team's performance in England, and look at the future of rugby in Japan as he prepares to move on to a new job coaching in South Africa.
Eddie may have some criticism of the way the game is structured in Japan, having told Kyodo News recently that players and coaches need to change their mindset.
While the next World Cup will be held here in 2019, the game in Japan is not without its issues. A new Super Rugby franchise that is due to join the Southern Hemisphere's leading competition has had some difficulties in getting players to sign up, and until last month Japan's hosting of the World Cup itself was in doubt after the organizers had to scramble to find a new main stadium.
Born in 1960 in Tasmania, Eddie, an Australian with a Japanese-American mother and Australian father, played for New South Wales in the 1980s and early 1990s before assuming his coaching career. He became the assistant coach for the Japan national team in 1996, the head coach for the ACT Brumbies in 1998, and led the Australian national team in the 2003 World Cup.