Good coaches develop good teams who create great players.
The RWC is creating unprecedented interest in rugby in Japan and all of Asia.
There has been a misconception that Asian rugby teams can’t compete with Tier 1 countries, because their players are physically too small. In the last 3 weeks Japan have proven this wrong. They have played 4, won 4 and topped their pool. As Jamie Joseph stated, “this is no fluke.”
The explanation for their capability is superior coaching. The Japanese built an internal club competition on the back of company teams employing foreign coaches, many from NZ and most with more experience than their domestic equivalents. The NZ coaches recruited foreign players to complete or strengthen their line-ups in the domestic competition. They now have a strong competition, featuring former international players, mostly over 30, but in some cases borderline internationals in their mid-twenties.
This is a successful model for all aspiring rugby countries around the world to follow.
The head coaches of four of the eight quarter finalists (New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and Wales) come from New Zealand.
The International Rugby Academy legacy is evident at RWC with 19 staff coaches or coach graduates featuring. They are assisting 11 of the 20 competing countries; New Zealand, Japan, Wales, England, Australia, Scotland, USA, Canada, Namibia, Fiji & Tonga.