Japan: Eddie Jones 'back at work'

Fri, 29 Nov 2013 12:06
I will be better than I was before

Japan coach Eddie Jones said he was "fine" on Friday and expected to make a full recovery after a stroke which left him in hospital for nearly 40 days.

Jones was facing the media less than a week after leaving hospital following the stroke which gave him mobility problems down the left side.

"I have coached officially for 17 years, and it was the first time I actually had breaks from coaching," he told a press conference in Tokyo.

"I am fine. I will be better than I was before," added the 53-year-old.

Jones spoke clearly and moved his limbs and fingers smoothly during his appearance, in which he spoke animatedly about his plans for Japan.

The former Australia boss was forced to sit out Japan's 54-6 home defeat to New Zealand after being taken ill on October 15 and placed in intensive care.

Jones said it was also "frustrating" to watch Japan's three-Test European tour from his hospital bed. The Brave Blossoms shipped 40 points to Scotland, Russia and Spain.

"It really reinforced the fact that we got to play Japanese-style rugby. That's a possession-based game," Jones said. "We got to be better at attacking."

But Jones said he would stick with the same group of players to try to take Japan, currently ranked 14th, into the world's top 10 by the 2015 World Cup.

Japan will host the following edition of the World Cup in 2019. Jones, who took Australia to the 2003 world final, succeeded John Kirwan as Japan coach in 2012.