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Mukai named new Japan rugby coach

Former Toshiba Fuchu manager Shogo Mukai has been named coach of the Japanese national rugby team, taking over from Seiji Hirao who resigned late last month, officials of the Japan Rugby Football Union said Friday.

The JRFU, however, will look for a foreign coach to team up with the 39-year-old Mukai, who led Toshiba Fuchu to the national title for three successive years from 1997.

His contract runs through the 2003 World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

The JRFU has also appointed senior executive director and former Japan coach Hiroaki Shukuzawa as chief of the union’s technical committee supervising the national team.