• Kyodo

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The Japan Rugby Football Union announced Thursday that the process of securing the next national team coach is in the final stages.

The successor to Eddie Jones was to have been decided at Thursday’s board of directors meeting, but negotiations with the leading candidate, thought to be New Zealander Jamie Joseph, are still ongoing.

“We put his name forward (at the meeting), and spoke about him,” said executive director Noriyuki Sakamoto. “Our plan is to have a decision by the end of the year.”

One potential obstacle is that Joseph is under contract to coach the defending Super Rugby champion Highlanders until the end of the 2016 season in August.

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