Jones praises Japan, Borthwick

Date published: October 3 2015

Samoa v Japan - Group B: Rugby World Cup 2015

Japan head coach Eddie Jones praised his side's effort as they took a huge step towards the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with victory over Samoa.

The Brave Blossoms won 26-5 at Stadium MK on Saturday thanks to a penalty try and Akihito Yamada's effort, with Jones in reflective mood afterwards.

"When I took the team over four years ago, one of the main things I wanted to do was to put pride back into Japanese rugby," said the proud coach.

"I coached Japan for the first time in 1996 and I came back in 2010 and was quite dismayed at the level of rugby and the national team. I watched them play against the All Blacks in 2011 and they (New Zealand) treated the game like a training match and won 90-0.

"We've managed to create the right environment for the players. We have a hybrid group of rugby players supplied by residence and native Japanese players and the scrum is part of our recent success. Our dominance in that area today set up the victory."

He added: "I've coached Australia and got smashed in the scrums and lost games of rugby because of it so to have a Japan team that is lighter than the opposition but techincally correct led to a great display from our forwards."

Jones believes his side's performance at this World Cup has "achieved a lot for Japanese rugby" and he was clearly delighted with his charges.

The Australian also reserved special praise for lineout coach Steve Borthwick, who he joked should be called in by England after the World Cup.

"He's been outstanding," he said. "His attention to detail is incredible and he's got the guys to believe that height is not the major factor in line-outs. We beat teams through speed and movement and being technically smart and Borthwick has been the driving force of that."

And on the prospect of reaching the quarter-finals, Jones concluded: "We've got the USA game next and we're looking forward to playing the best game of our World Cup then."

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