27 Dec 2011

Jones confirmed as Japan rugby coach

1:00 pm on 27 December 2011

The former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones will replace New Zealand's John Kirwan as Japan's head coach.

The former All Blacks winger Kirwan will step down from his role when his contract expires at the end of this month.

Jones, the coach of Japan's Top League rugby side Suntory Sungoliath since 2009, has a contract from April 2012 to the end of the 2015 World Cup in England.

The 51-year-old coached the Wallabies team beaten by England in the 2003 World Cup final but tasted success in 2007 as a consultant to the victorious South Africa team.

Masahiro Kunda will be Jones' assistant with the pair taking up their roles after the Australian finishes the season with Sungoliath, who he led to the national championship last term.