Eddie Jones looking to unearth Cheslin Kolbe-esque stars in Japan

Veteran coach Eddie Jones believes there are stars with the same profile as Cheslin Kolbe in Japan; he just needs to find them.


In 2024, Jones will take over as head coach of the Japan national team for the second time as the Brave Blossoms’ manager. He will cherish the memories of his first stint with the team, which included leading them to their most illustrious victory—a victory over the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup of 2015.

The Australian-born coach’s next move was to become England’s head coach, a position he held for seven years during which the squad won three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam.

At the beginning of the year, Jones made the disastrous decision to return to Australia to coach the Wallabies once more. His team was eliminated from the World Cup at the pool stages for the first time, and he only achieved two victories.

Head back to Japan.

A burgeoning issue arose over Jones’ alleged interview for the Japan job right before the tournament in France; he refuted these claims multiple times. In the end, Jones made his way back to the Brave Blossoms.

Kolbe, who joined with Suntory Sungoliath, recently relocated to Japan as well, and Jones thinks Japanese players may possess the qualities of the two-time World Cup champion.

He stated, “Japanese players can be as elusive as a ninja, as fast as a cheetah, and as strong as an ox.”

He’s a great example, so we’re looking for people who can follow in his footsteps, and they exist.”


Creating a strong sense of identity for the team is one of the seasoned coach’s main priorities.

“Any outstanding team in any sport can be easily identified by the uniform they wear.”

“I think we need to work on that with Japan, so one of our main priorities moving forward will be to develop that.”

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