New rugby coach Jones picks team


New Japan rugby coach Eddie Jones picked his first team on Monday, naming a 30-strong squad for next month’s Asian Five Nations match at Kazakhstan.

A night after leading Top League champions Suntory Sungoliath to their second consecutive national championship, Jones unveiled a group that included 14 uncapped players for his first game in charge of the Brave Blossoms on April 28.

Japan has not played since John Kirwan’s side drew with Canada 23-23 on Sept. 27 at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Japan’s last and only win at the World Cup dates back to a 1991 victory over Zimbabwe.

“We picked a squad firstly to win the Asian Five Nations, but moving towards the World Cup in 2015,” Jones said. “We’ve got a balance between experienced players and rookie players who can potentially be very good players for Japan by 2015.”