Jones to miss All Black showdown
Fri, 18 Oct 2013 12:40
I feel sorry for causing such worries
Japan head coach Eddie Jones will miss the upcoming game against the All Blacks, following a stroke which has left him with mobility difficulties, the Japan Rugby Football Union said on Friday.
The 53-year-old Australian has developed minor difficulties moving his left limbs after suffering a stroke earlier this week.
Although he can talk and has left intensive care, he will nonetheless miss out on his squad's Test against the All Blacks in Tokyo on November 2, the national rugby body said in a statement.
He was hospitalised Tuesday after complaining of a headache following a flight back to Tokyo from an inspection of the Brave Blossoms' domestic training camp.
Jones was released from the intensive care unit of the hospital but will require further check-ups, the Union said.
"I feel sorry for causing such worries at an important time as we prepare for a game against All Blacks and a tour," he said in a Japanese-language statement released from the Union.
While he focuses on his health, the Japanese squad will be coached by Scott Wisemantel, a former Wallabies skills coach who serves as a technical adviser for the Japan squad, the Union said.
Jones took over from All Black legend John Kirwan in April 2012 after guiding the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final, which they lost to England.
He also served as adviser to South Africa when they won the 2007 World Cup.
He has led the Blossoms to their fifth and sixth straight Asian Five Nations titles.
Jones has vowed to develop Japan into a top-10 rugby nation before the 2015 World Cup in England, as the Asian champions prepare to host the 2019 edition.
However, they finished fourth in the five-way Pacific Nations Cup last June.
The All Blacks will play Japan at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, in their first Test on Japanese soil.
The Brave Blossoms will leave for their European tour the day after the Test.
They will take on Scotland on November 9, Gloucester on November 12 and Russia in Colwyn Bay on November 15.
They will finish the tour with a Test against Spain in Madrid on November 23.
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