Eddie Jones

Japan coach Eddie Jones. Image: Andy Rain/EPA

Eddie Jones takes aim at England in Tokyo clash!

Eddie Jones aims to lead Japan to victory against England with a new play style, eyeing ambitious goals for the 2027 World Cup.

Eddie Jones

Japan coach Eddie Jones. Image: Andy Rain/EPA

Eddie Jones is set to face his former team, England, as he begins his second tenure as Japan’s rugby head coach. He hinted at the unpredictability of the game, especially on a hot day, as he geared up to lead Japan in their summer Test matches.

Japan’s Squad Ready for Summer Challenges

Jones, known for his passionate coaching style, revealed the Japanese squad for their upcoming summer Tests.

The first match, against England, will take place at Tokyo’s National Stadium on 22 June.

This match marks Jones’ first major test since returning to Japan, following a tough stint with Australia’s national team.

Jones’ Strategy Against England

Reflecting on his time with England, Jones is well aware of their strengths. “England will bring a robust kicking game and a strong set-piece,” he commented.

Despite the challenge, he remains optimistic. “On a hot day in Tokyo, anything can happen.”

Ambitious Goals for 2027 World Cup

Jones has set high aspirations for Japan, aiming to reach the semi-finals of the 2027 World Cup in Australia. This goal follows Japan’s early exit in the last World Cup in France.

Emphasising the importance of preparation, Jones stated, “Every day is crucial as we get ready for the upcoming challenges.”

Excitement for Hands-On Training

After months of observation and learning, Jones is excited to begin direct coaching. “The first six months are all about watching, learning, and discussing with other coaches,” he shared.

“Now, it’s thrilling to finally get the players into a training camp.”

Matches Beyond England

After facing England, Japan will take on the Maori All Blacks in two fixtures. In July, they will host matches against Georgia and Italy.

Jones has included 12 new players in his 35-man squad, alongside experienced veteran Michael Leitch, who is 35 years old.

Adapting a New Play Style

Japan’s loose forward Kazuki Himeno, who led the team at the previous World Cup, will miss the summer games due to injury.

Despite this, Jones is committed to implementing a new, faster style of play. “We need to adopt a Japanese style of play, focusing on speed,” he explained.

“We’ll start this from day one, and though it will be challenging, we aim to showcase it against England.”

Jones’s strategic approach and new play style promise an exciting season for Japan. His return has rejuvenated the team’s spirit and aims, setting the stage for an ambitious journey towards the 2027 World Cup.