Japan coach Kirwan wants Asia-Pacific Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Japan coach Kirwan wants Asia-Pacific Cup

12/12/2010 06:43:28 PM Comments (0)

All Black legend John Kirwan says he wants a competition established involving top club and regional teams from East Asia, New Zealand and Australia ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Kirwan, the Japan national team coach, said he wanted to see the game in Japan develop in the lead-up to the tournament.

"Having the World Cup in Japan should be the icing on the cake. If we think it is the cake then we are in trouble," Kirwan wrote in a weekend column in the Daily Yomiuri.

"We need to start planning now, not just for the tournament, but the years building up to it."

One of Kirwan's visions is for Japan's seven-year-old professional rugby competition, known as the Top League, reach a more competitive level.

"The Top League will have to be expanded to include franchises in Hong Kong and South Korea with the winners of the league playing the top teams from Australia and New Zealand in a Heineken Cup-style competition," Kirwan said.

The Heineken Cup is an annual competition involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

Kirwan, who took over the Brave Blossoms before the 2007 RWC, also repeated his wish that Japan would be in the world's top eight "and regularly beating the likes of Scotland, Ireland and Italy."

Japan, the first Asian nation to host a World Cup, are currently ranked 13th by the International Rugby Board.

Kirwan also reiterated his goal of winning at least two games in next year's World Cup in New Zealand and automatically qualifying for the 2015 tournament in England.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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