Article

Jones, Japan aim for World Cup quarters

27 February 2013 15:14

Japan coach Eddie Jones is aiming to take his side to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

The former Australia coach believes his team needs to find their own style of play in order to challenge the best in the world.

"In the next World Cup in 2015 we've got a good pool to play in," Jones said. "If we play really well our target is to reach the quarter-finals, if we don't play really well we won't win a game.

"So, it's all about how well we prepare.

"We can't play like New Zealand, we can't play like South Africa, we've got to play our way and we're starting to find that way and when we believe in that way and do it 100% and get all the other basics in play we'll have a side that can challenge the rest of the world."

Jones took Australia to the World Cup final in 2003 and also helped South Africa win the World Cup in 2007 as technical adviser.

Having been hired as Japan coach in 2011, he has set about turning the rugby minnows into a more competitive unit and moving them up the world rankings.

"As we've stated previously our target is to get in the top 10 in the world by 2015 - and 2019 in the top eight," he said.

Jones has selected 41 players to play in Japan's upcoming tour of Wales.

The 53-year-old sees the tour as a crucial build-up to the World Cup and is eager to build the experience of his squad.

"Out of the 41 players, nine are uncapped, and 20 players have less than 20 caps," he said.

"As I've explained previously, to do well at a World Cup we need a minimum of about 550 caps in our team."

Looking ahead to facing Wales, Jones is expecting a physical battle against the World Cup semi-finalists and is preparing his team accordingly.

"If you've been watching the Six Nations, it's more noted for its wrestling than its ball movement," he said.

"So we'll be doing plenty of wrestling practice to get ready for Wales."

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