Kiwan to step down as Japan Rugby coach

Japan coach and All Blacks world cup winner John Kirwan will quit as Japan coach when his contract expires in December after his team had a poor showing at the Rugby World Cup.

The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) have revealed that they are looking for a “suitable successor” to Kirwan, 46, who has coached the Brave Blossoms since 2007.

Japan, who will host the 2019 World Cup, failed to win a match at ongoing tournament in New Zealand.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Japan Rugby and will always be very proud of the improvements and achievements we have made,” Kirwan said in a statement released by the JRFU.

“I will always follow the JRFU with interest and remain very grateful for the opportunity to serve Japan.”

Kirwan, a World Cup-winning winger with New Zealand in 1987, had set the ambitious target of two victories at the World Cup for Japan, whose sole success in the tournament was against Zimbabwe in 1991.

But in the event they lost to France and Tonga and drew with Canada, a result which prompted Kirwan to admit he was considering his future with the team.

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