AP NEWS

Jamie Joseph out of race to be All Blacks head coach

November 18, 2019

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former All Black Jamie Joseph is out of the running to become the next New Zealand head coach after signing a new deal to continue with Japan through the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Joseph guided Japan to the quarterfinals of the recent Rugby World Cup, which made him a favorite among a field of 26 candidates to take over from Steve Hansen as All Blacks coach.

But the Japan Rugby Union on Monday announced Joseph had re-signed for four years.

“I have great expectations for rugby in Japan and I’m very honored that I can lead the team towards the next World Cup,” Joseph said in a statement.

“We achieved the goal of being among the top eight countries in the World Cup but there are still more issues to be tackled. To that end I chose the path to challenge with the Japanese national team again. I want to strengthen the team.

“I have a great sense of expectation in Japanese rugby and I am very pleased to be able to lead the team for the next Rugby World Cup.”

Joseph had a strong case to become the next All Blacks coach after guiding Japan to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time. He sought the role in partnership with fellow All Black and Japan assistant coach Tony Brown who had also been approached to partner rival All Blacks coaching candidates Ian Foster and Scott Robertson.

Foster, who has been Hansen’s head coach since 2012, and Robertson, who guided the Christchurch-based Crusaders to the Super Rugby title in each of the last three years, are now the leading candidates in a substantially weakened field.

Dave Rennie, who coached the Hamilton-based Chiefs to the Super Rugby title in 2012 and 2013 and is currently coaching Glasgow Warriors, remains in the race but is seen as the leading candidate to replace outgoing Australia coach Michael Cheika.

Hansen was All Blacks head coach from 2012 and a member of the All Blacks’ coaching team since 2004.

____

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports