Rugby coach Jones gets praise from Japan

Peter Trute

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has earned praise at the highest levels of the Japanese government as he moves on from coaching Japan's rugby side to a new post directing England's team.

Japan's Defence Minister Gen Nakatani dropped a word of thanks to Jones into his press conference in Sydney after meeting with his Australian counterpart, Senator Marise Payne and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

"I'm a rugby fan and I would like to thank Eddie Jones the coach," he said.

Mr Nakatani said Jones and other Australian staff had made the Japanese team "very strong" - no doubt a reference to Japan's upset win against rugby heavyweights South Africa at this year's World Cup.

Mr Nakatani also revealed a personal affinity with the game: he's captain of the Japanese parliamentary rugby team.