Jones: I have done my job

Date published: October 12 2015

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Following Japan's results at the Rugby World Cup, Eddie Jones believes he has done what he set out to achieve with the tier two team.

The Brave Blossoms shocked the rugby world with an excellent performance against two-time world champions South Africa in their opening fixture, which saw them eke out a memorable two-point win.

However, the result was not just a flash in the pan as the supposed minnows of world rugby trounced Samoa and the USA to make it three wins from their four Pool B matches.

Japan should consider themselves unlucky not to advance to the quarter-finals as they became the first team in World Cup histroy to win three pool matches and not advance to the knock-out stages. Two bonus points is the only thing that separated them from Scotland, who finished second in the pool.

"I have done my job with Japan," quipped Jones.

"When I took over Japan I wanted to bring pride back in the national team and I think we have done that so it is someone else's turn to take it over.

"The guys have all played above themselves, they have worked hard, they played with a real spirit, they played how rugby should be played.

"Before this tournament, Japan were one of the joke teams. People put out B teams against them and win by 80 points. So to win three of four games shows the quality of players we have, and how hard we've worked to achieve this."

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup being hosted in Japan and the positive recent results, Jones is hoping it will inspire the nation.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for Japan to have a new generation of players, fans and heroes," added the former Wallaby coach.

"They [the players] have changed the image of Japanese rugby. When you have heroes, kids want to emulate heroes. This isn't just about rugby. This is what sport can do. It can inspire kids, instead of playing baseball or soccer, to play rugby now."

Jones has taken up a post in Cape Town as coach of the Stormers for the 2016 Super Rugby season, which will include a Japanese franchise for the first time.

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