Jones wants to make Brave Blossoms the world’s fastest

Henry

Japan’s rugby team, known as the Brave Blossoms, will have to become the “fastest team in the world” to compensate for its players’ relatively small physique, says the team’s new coach, Eddie Jones.

“The game is about momentum. One of the key laws of life is Newton’s second law, which states that momentum equals mass times velocity,” Jones said during a media conference in Tokyo on Monday.

Jones explained that Japan’s rugby players – compared to other countries – are always going to be a bit on the small side. “But the thing we can change is the speed…” says newly appointed Jones.

“Running fast hurts, especially when you come out of the scrum. We have to change the players’ minds to enjoy pain, to push themselves beyond the point where they think they can be pushed,” Jones explained.

Jones is at the helm of the Japanese national rugby team for the second time from 1 January 2024 after initially coaching the Brave Blossoms between 2012 and 2015.

One of the highlights of his initial coaching period was the 34–32 victory against the Springboks in a World Cup match in Brighton.

Returning to Japan is a “big project”, Jones admitted on Monday.

“But I firmly believe that if the team does its own thing and is 100% focused on being the fastest rugby team in the world, there is no reason why we cannot reach the top.”

Jones also said that in the future he wants to use artificial intelligence to teach his players to communicate with their eyes.

“Gorillas don’t have white in their eyes. So gorillas never know what the others are thinking. That’s the difference with people; we have white in our eyes.

“The really good players in the world are those who make quick decisions and can read movement through eyes. We need to be able to practice that skill. I have some ideas of how we’re going to do that, which might include training with the help of artificial intelligence,” Jones told reporters.

“We need a way to follow this quickly, because we see too many players with their heads down.”

Jones also said that fans want to see a Japanese team that excites the world. “And this is the team we want to create,” says Jones.