Japan, since 22 August, 2015, have played 40 matches and won 28. Included in these 28 wins is the famous 2015 World Cup win against the Springboks and the stunning 2019 World Cup win against Ireland.
Japan’s win against Scotland bucked the trend of traditional results and was history-making in that it was the first time in eight Tests that the Brave Blossoms had beaten the Scots.
Japan’s improvement on the global stage started with Eddie Jones’ tenure and further prospered under the Kiwi coaching duo of Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown. Joseph and Brown are former All Blacks and both were strong coaches with the Highlanders.
Joseph, strategic in his identification of how to marry foreign imports with homegrown talent, managed to select 15 players born outside of Japan for this World Cup, but at no stage has the team lost its identity as being the hosts. There is enough Japanese in this squad to ensure that the squad speaks to a nation and can identify with the culture of the nation. Joseph, in the build-up to the World Cup, said the team’s primary target was to make the last eight, and they have done it. His mission over the last four years was to develop a team that consistently beat second-tier nations and one that would be strong enough to be competitive against any team in the game.