Sunwolves head coach Jamie Joseph will miss the last three games of the season as he recovers from lower back pain and will be replaced by assistant coach Tony Brown, the Super Rugby team said Tuesday.

According to the Sunwolves, Joseph — coach of both the Sunwolves and the Japan national team this season — will return to New Zealand to undergo treatment for two months in order to be fit for the November tests and next year's Rugby World Cup.

"Though it was a very tough decision for me not to accompany the Sunwolves for the last three matches of the season, I had to think of what was best for the greater goal of Japanese rugby," Joseph said in a statement.

"The team will be in the very capable hands of Tony Brown and our support staff and I will look forward to continue to monitor their progress till the end of the Super Rugby season for 2018."

The Sunwolves (2-11) face South African side Bulls at the National Stadium in Singapore on Saturday.