- Title: 'We want to make the top eight', says Japan's rugby coach Jamie Joseph
- Date: 29th August 2019
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (AUGUST 29, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** JAPAN TEAM PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE VICE CHAIRMAN, YUICHIRO FUJII (TAKES SEAT ON THE RIGHT), AND JAPAN RUGBY HEAD COACH, JAMIE JOSEPH (TAKES SEAT ON THE LEFT), ENTERING THE NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPAN RUGBY HEAD COACH, JAMIE JOSEPH, SAYING: "We have played every tier one team and we have had four seasons at Super Rugby. I believe that's really helped our players develop the mental and physical toughness that's going to be expected at the World Cup." MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA IN ATTENDANCE DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPAN RUGBY HEAD COACH, JAMIE JOSEPH, SAYING: "The PNC (Pacific Nations Cup) tournament I guess was our first opportunity to perform as a team and transfer all of the physical benefits and team benefits from training camp to test matches. We're under no doubt that the South African game is an absolutely different level and so is the World Cup." MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA IN ATTENDANCE DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPAN RUGBY HEAD COACH, JAMIE JOSEPH, SAYING: "We're a team that has set a goal to make the top eight for the first time in history of Japanese rugby. We understand it's a very difficult challenge, it hasn't been done before. But I guarantee the players and staff will give 150 per cent. Whether that will be enough, time will tell." VARIOUS OF JOSEPH (LEFT) AND FUJII (RIGHT) POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WHILE BOTH HOLDING A RUGBY BALL JOSEPH ARRIVING AT THE JAPAN NATIONAL PRESS CLUB FOR ANOTHER PRESS CONFERENCE AND TAKING A SEAT IN THE MIDDLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPAN RUGBY HEAD COACH, JAMIE JOSEPH, SAYING: "I don't look at the South African game as a must-win game. I look at the South African game as a must-perform game where we need to play to our strengths and put out a game plan that's going to put South Africa under pressure, and we all know when teams get under pressure that's when things to happen and I think that's what our goal is." JOSEPH SEATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLE DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE JOSEPH GETTING UP FROM HIS SEAT AT THE END OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 12th September 2019 13:06
- Keywords: Jamie Joseph Brave Blossoms 2019 Rugby World Cup RWC
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Rugby Union,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001AU9RPRZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Realistic hosts Japan are eager to ride a strong run of form and reach a first-ever quarter-final at the Rugby World Cup which starts next month.
The hosts are "under no illusions" about the challenges ahead against top-tier nations, head coach Jamie Joseph said on Thursday (August 29) after naming his 31-man squad for the tournament.
Joseph added that playing against heavyweights like New Zealand and Australia over the past four years had helped them develop the mental and physical toughness needed to compete at the showpiece.
The Brave Blossoms took Pacific Nations Cup honours earlier this month by trouncing Fiji, Tonga and the United States, to climb to ninth in the world, matching their highest-ever ranking.
They will have their final World Cup warm-up next Friday (September 6) against South Africa, the team they famously beat in the 2015 World Cup in one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.
Next week's encounter with the Springboks will serve as a key indicator on how his side respond to adversity, Joseph said.
Joseph's side kick-off the World Cup in the opener against Russia on September 20 in Tokyo and find themselves in a tough Pool A which also includes Ireland, Scotland and Samoa.
(Production: Christopher Gallagher, Yoko Kono)
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