JOSEPH TO DOU­BLE UP IN JA­PAN

NZ Rugby World - - The Breakdown -

FOR­MER HIGH­LANDERS COACH JAMIE JOSEPH IS GO­ING TO BE BACK IN SU­PER RUGBY NEXT YEAR HAV­ING TAKEN CHARGE OF THE SUN­WOLVES. Joseph will com­bine the role with his cur­rent post as head coach of the Ja­panese na­tional team. He’ll be tak­ing over from Filo Ti­a­tia who strug­gled to have much im­pact with the side in 2017.

The Sun­wolves failed to im­press un­der Ti­a­tia’s guid­ance, how­ever, and they fin­ished the 2017 sea­son at the bot­tom of the Africa One Con­fer­ence ta­ble with just two wins from 15 matches played.

The de­ci­sion to make the change was also about giv­ing Joseph greater in­flu­ence and con­trol over Ja­pan’s best play­ers and to e ec­tively man­age them 12 months of the year. It’s a sim­i­lar sys­tem to the one used by the Jaguares and Pu­mas – where it is largely one team play­ing un­der two di er­ent names.

The Sun­wolves fin­ished 17th last year and other than a fa­mous win against the Blues in the fi­nal round, they had a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son.

Joseph le the High­landers in 2016, hav­ing led them to their first ti­tle in 2015. He ac­cepted the head coaching job in Ja­pan in Au­gust 2016.

“I can’t wait for next sea­son,” Joseph said. “We have a huge chal­lenge ahead of us but I’ve been here be­fore with the High­landers.”

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