Japan head coach Jamie Joseph poses with the Webb Ellis Cup as he arrives for the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw in May. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato

WELLINGTON, New Zealand  — Japan head coach Jamie Joseph will replace fellow New Zealander Filo Tiatia as head coach of the Tokyo-based Sunwolves in Super Rugby next season.

Joseph - who coached the Dunedin-based Highlanders to their first Super Rugby title in 2015 - became Japan national coach last year, following the departure of current England coach Eddie Jones

Joseph will now integrate the two major coaching roles in Japanese rugby ahead of the 2019 World Cup, which Japan will host.

“Firstly I would like to thank Filo for his huge contribution to the Sunwolves and Japanese rugby," Joseph said in a statement on Friday.  "Filo has been an integral part in the development of our Japanese players as we prepare for the world cup in 2019. 

"As the new Head Coach I understand the responsibility of coaching at this level. I can’t wait for next season. We have a huge challenge ahead of us but I’ve been here before with the Highlanders.”

Sunwolves chief executive Yuji Watase thanked former All Black Tiatia for his contribution. 

“Under Tiatia’s leadership the Sunwolves have established their style of play and their place in one of the toughest rugby competitions in the world," he said. 

"We are grateful for his wonderful contribution to the Sunwolves acknowledging that establishing a team in a competition as tough as Super Rugby has come with some challenges. We would like to wish Filo and his family all the very best with his future coaching roles.”

AP

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