Japan’s Jones wants to light a fire under Rose


“You never know what can happen on a match day,” Eddie Jones said in the run-up to Japan’s test against England.

The celebrated coach has announced his squad of 35 players for the summer test matches. The Brave Blossoms face Steve Borthwick’s Rose in Tokyo on June 22.

Jones was in charge of England at the 2019 World Cup before being sacked three years later and returning to Japan after a disastrous spell in charge of Australia.

The 64-year-old coach said he was eager to show his mettle against England.

“It will be a big challenge for us to play against them, but we are geared up for the game. You never know what can happen in Tokyo.”

Jones has a huge task waiting for him after he set a goal for the team to reach the semi-finals at the 2027 World Cup in Australia.

“Even for an old coach like me, it’s a very exciting time ahead.”

After the England game, Jones will captain a Japanese fifteen in two matches against the Maori All Blacks before the full squad play home Test matches against Georgia and Italy in July.

Jones included 12 new players in his training squad, including 35-year-old World Cup veteran Michael Leitch.

Loose forward Kazuki Himeno, who captained Japan at last year’s World Cup, will miss the upcoming matches due to injury.

“We need to take a unique approach; A Japanese style of play,” Jones added, saying he wants his team to make the game fast.

“We will implement it from day one. It will obviously be difficult to learn, but we want to see the first signs of that against England.”