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Kobe Steel head coach Mitsutake Hagimoto is to take over as coach of the Japan national team, rugby sources said Friday.

The 45-year-old Hagimoto, who led Kobe to the championship in the corporate Top League this season, will officially be named as the successor to Shogo Mukai at a Japan Rugby Football Union executive committee meeting March 19. Mukai stepped down after last year’s Rugby World Cup, in which Japan lost all four of its group stage games in the finals in Australia.

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) The Queensland Reds extended defending champion Auckland’s early-season woes in rugby’s Super 12 tournament while Wellington beat South Africa’s Cats on Saturday.

Fullback Chris Latham scored a pair of tries as Queensland beat the Blues 20-3. Wendell Sailor also scored a try for the Reds while Auckland’s only points came from a Ben Atiga penalty. Ma’a Nonu and Neemia Tialata returned from disciplinary suspensions to lead the Hurricanes to a 42-25 win over the Cats at Wellington.

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