Japan coach, Eddie Jones. Image: Andy Rain/EPA

Japan poaches Springbok great!

Springbok great Victor Matfield makes a surprise move, joining Eddie Jones’ Japan coaching staff. What does this mean for the team?


Japan coach, Eddie Jones. Image: Andy Rain/EPA

Eddie Jones, Japan’s head coach, has called upon a Springbok legend for assistance. Victor Matfield, South Africa’s most-capped player, has joined Japan’s coaching staff as a consultant.

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The move reunites Jones with Matfield, who played a key role in South Africa’s 2007 World Cup triumph under Jones’ guidance.

Lineout Expertise

Renowned for his mastery of the lineout, Matfield has amassed substantial coaching experience since retiring. He’s worked with the Bulls, the Lions, and even helped Portugal in their 2023 Rugby World Cup preparations.

This isn’t Matfield’s first foray into international coaching; he recently assisted Johann van Graan at Bath.

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“It’s fantastic to be involved on an international level and work with Eddie,” Matfield told Rapport. “I’ve often said that I’m a big fan of Eddie.”

How Will Matfield Contribute?

“This position with Eddie is more formal,” Matfield explained. “I will fly to Japan twice to be involved in the Japanese camp there for two weeks before their Tests.

I will also do weekly analysis of the opposition teams for Japan and forward plans.”

Matfield’s Aspirations

The Springbok great hopes this opportunity with Japan will open doors to future endeavors. “I have always dreamed of one day becoming involved with the Springboks full-time and coaching there,” he revealed.

However, Matfield remains fully committed to supporting the Springboks on an as-needed basis.

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“This is an incredible opportunity for me to stay involved and stay relevant in the game. The game has moved on, and you have to keep up with the new way of doing things.”

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This collaboration is set to bolster Japan’s already formidable lineup ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Combining Eddie Jones’ coaching prowess with Victor Matfield’s tactical intelligence and lineout expertise makes the Brave Blossoms a force to be reckoned with.