Japan’s Brave Blossoms Welcome Coach Jamie Joseph
In his first press conference since taking charge of Japan national rugby team the Brave Blossoms, New Zealander Jamie Joseph warned fans to expect pain before pleasure as he builds toward the 2019 World Cup on home soil.
“I guess there are not many coaches who would come into an international coaching job and accept a programme that is going to be very, very difficult from the start,” Joseph said in Tokyo. “But what’s more important for me is the development of the team rather than my reputation.”
“We’re only going to get better at playing the top-tier teams if we continue to play them. Players get that experience. This is why the Sunwolves have entered into Super Rugby, and we are continuing to look for top-tier teams to play against. That’s how we’re going to be ready for the World Cup.”
Former All Black Joseph arrived in Japan to begin a job he signed up for in January, having completed his duties as head coach of Super Rugby’s Highlanders last month.
Joseph is returning to a country that he knows well, having played for Sanix Blues from 1995-2002 and represented Japan at the 1999 World Cup.
Joseph will begin his tenure with a home test match against world No. 7-ranked Argentina at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground in Tokyo on 5 November, before travelling to Europe to play No 11 Georgia, No 5 Wales and No 10 Fiji.
Original article by Andrew McKirdy, The Japan Times, September 5, 2016.
Photo by Yoshiaki Miura.