Japan boss Eddie Jones’ recovery from a stroke, suffered just over a month ago, is going well and he has already returned to his job.
Jones, who was released from hospital last Saturday, was back at the Japan Rugby Football Union headquarters on Friday and praised the Brave Blossoms’ performance against Scotland in Edinburgh earlier this month but said they failed to show their true potential in their clash with New Zealand in Tokyo.
“I don’t want to criticise, but we simply didn’t play our rugby against New Zealand,” Jones told Reuters.
“We had two turnovers early on and kicked it straight back to them.
“We can’t beat a good side playing orthodox rugby. We need to play a Japan style that is possession based.”
Fellow Australian Scott Wisemantel was at the helm during Japan’s 54-6 loss to the All Blacks and and a 42-17 defeat to Scotland while Jones was recovering after being diagnosed with a minor stroke.
“We’ve beaten all the teams behind us (in the world rankings),” added Jones.
“Now we have to start beating those above us, such as Italy, Fiji and Tonga.
“We were good for 50 minutes against Scotland but we need to turn that into 80 if we are to beat sides like that.
“Next year, we are going to put a real emphasis on getting even fitter and stronger, as we need to get faster in the way we play the game.
“We’ve got two years to go to get into the Top 10 in the world.”
Regarding his health, Jones said simply being able to touch his toes was a sign of progress after the stroke.
“I am at about 98 percent now,” he said.
“I can stretch and touch my toes – which I couldn’t do before.”