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Eddie Jones confirms he will not lead Japan team

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Japan coach Eddie Jones has confirmed that he will step down at the end of
the Rugby World Cup and will not be taking charge of the new Japanese Super
Rugby franchise.

Super Rugby will expand from 15 to 18 teams in 2016 with one of the new teams
coming from Japan and Jones has been closely linked with South African side
the Stormers.

Former Wallabies coach Jones was appointed as Director of Rugby for the new
franchise earlier this year and the new rugby side has had trouble signing players.

Several Japanese players who already play Super Rugby have chosen to stay with
their current teams instead of signing for their new home franchise and according
to reports just two players have been signed.

Jones won a Super Rugby title with the Brumbies and also coached the Reds and
his departure will leave a big hole of Super Rugby experience in Japan.

The former Australia coach told Japanese news agency Kyodo that his
contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the year.

“The (Japan Rugby Football) Union are going to announce this afternoon that
I will not be continuing after 2015,” Jones told Kyodo.

“That was always the case as my contract was until the end of the year,
so all they are doing is stating the obvious.

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super
Rugby side I would stay on. But that was just an administrative role not a coaching
role. All I was doing was help get it set up.”

Jones has been coach of the Japanese national side the Brave Blossoms since
2012 but recent reports in South Africa stated that he has signed a two year
deal with the Stormers.

Jones has admitted that he has been in talks with the Cape Town-based Stormers
but denies that he has signed with them.

“I have coached for 20 years, and coached the Wallabies for five years.
And with hindsight I should have left after four,” Jones said.

“Four years is enough for an international coach and I have put a lot
into this. It’s been one of the hardest jobs I have done.

“My focus was always to change Japanese rugby history and ensure Japan
was a serious rugby nation by the time I left.”

Japan will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and Jones says his departure will
help the host nation plan better for the future.

“The decision doesn’t change anything we have done or are going
to do,” added Jones.

“The players aren’t thinking past the World Cup. We are just focused
on what we have to do.

“And by making the decision now, it’s a great opportunity for the
JRFU to find a new person with a new perspective and new ideas so he can build
a team towards 2019.”

JRFU general secretary Noriyuki Sakamoto said it was Jones who approached his
organisation about the resignation.

“We’ve made a great deal of progress under Eddie Jones. We’ve beaten strong
nations and showed Japan’s true value in doing so,” Sakamoto told Kyodo.

“We had the overture from the head coach and accepted it as he was resolute
in his decision.”

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