Highlanders coach Joseph tipped to lead Japan

Jamie Joseph could be named Japan coach before the end of the year

Highlanders Super Rugby coach Jamie Joseph has been linked to the vacant Japanese national side’s head coaching position.

According to reports the Japanese Rugby Union is negotiating with Joseph to become the next head coach of the national side.

Japan are without a coach currently as their coach at the Rugby World Cup Eddie Jones stood down at the end of the tournament and is now in charge of England.

Super Rugby winning coach Joseph is contracted to the Highlanders until the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season although the Otago Rugby Union want him to extend his contract.

The former All Black loose forward Joseph gained massive credibility by turning the Highlanders into Super Rugby champions and he also has links to Japan as he played nine tests for the Brave Blossoms in 1999.

Some circles have tipped Joseph to succeed Steve Hansen in 2017 as All Blacks coach so his appointment with Japan could have a clause to accomodate the New Zealand Rugby Union should they want him for the national side.

In response to recent media stories and enquiries regarding Head Coach Jamie Joseph coaching in Japan, Highlanders CEO Roger Clark has issued the following statement, “It has always been this organizations policy not to respond to speculative comment on players, or coaches for that matter, coming and going from our club.”

Meanwhile it is expected that former All Blacks hooker Mark Hammett will be named as the coach of the new Japanese Super Rugby side the Sunwolves.

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