Eddie Jones leading race to coach Japan

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has emerged as the leading contender to replace outgoing Japan Rugby coach John Kirwan.

Jones currently coaches in Suntory in Japan and has already expressed his interest in succeeding Kirwan.

“I would definitely be interested,” Jones told the Daily Yomiuri.

“Getting Japan into the world’s top 10 is a big task, but is achievable if everyone works together,” he said.

Jones has agreed to assist Brumbies coach Jake White from time to time during the upcoming Super Rugby season. Jones assisted White in the 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign with the Springboks.

The Sankei Sports newspaper reported that a Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) panel had put forward Jones who has also coached the Reds in Super Rugby as well as leading Australia to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final.

Kirwan revealed earlier this week that he would not be re-applying for the Japan Rugby coach job after he led the national team to four consecutive Asian Five Nations titles and their maiden Pacific Nations Cup trophy in July.

Kirwan was however criticised after Japan lost to France and Tonga and drew with Canada.

“It is now up to Suntory’s top echelon to decide” if Jones can leave, said the Sports Hochi newspaper.

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