Eddie Jones making England staff learn Japanese ahead of Rugby World Cup


With the 2019 Rugby World Cup a little over a year away, England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed he is making his staff prepare for the tournament by learning Japanese.

England’s backroom staff have just returned from the country after a 10-day familiarisation trip.

“Everything we do now is about preparing for the World Cup,” said Jones, who was speaking to reporters after attending Leicester Tigers’ Premiership win over Newcastle Falcons.

“All of the staff had Japanese lessons last Tuesday. We’ve got another one in a couple of weeks. The World Cup’s about enjoying the tournament. The more you can enjoy the tournament, the more you can create a positive atmosphere.

“It’s the staff’s responsibility to create a positive atmosphere because the players are going to be stressed. They’re going to find heat stress and cultural stress; it’s our job as staff to minimise that stress as much as possible.”

Jones himself is half Japanese, is married to a Japanese wife and spent six years coaching in the country between 2009 and 2015.

England will play four warm-up fixtures at home before flying to Japan in September 2019. Their first pool match in the tournament is against Tonga on Sept. 22.

“For the first couple of weeks in Japan, you can get lost because it’s all a big blur,” Jones added. “It’s really hot and you can lose time. We need the coaches to be on the front foot as soon as we get there. Learning a few words will help.”

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