McKee emerges as favourite to claim Japanese coaching roles

McKee has been touted as next coach for Japan's super rugby coach. Photo: Reuters

McKee has been touted as next coach for Japan’s new super rugby coach. Photo: Reuters

Fiji head coach John McKee is being touted as the frontrunner to take charge of Japan’s new Super Rugby team.

Fijian coach John McKee is coming to the fore as the favourite to replace Eddie Jones as the main man in Japanese rugby.

The Kiwi is being touted as the front-runner to not only take over the country’s national team, but also be the first head coach of their new Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves, reports out of Australia suggest.

McKee’s assistant with the Fiji team, South African Frans Ludeke, coached the Bulls to back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010 and is expected to also go to Japan if McKee signs on.

Former Australia under-20s coach McKee led Fiji to Pacific Nations Cup glory this year with victories over Tonga (30-22), Japan (27-22) and a draw with Samoa. Fiji overcame Samoa 39-29 in the tournament final.

Fiji are set to finish fourth in the ‘pool of death’ at the Rugby World Cup after losses to England, Australia and Wales.

Australian Jones, who has been linked with the England job, is departing Japan to take up a new role as head coach of South African Super Rugby franchise the Stormers.

The Sunwolves make their Super Rugby debut against the Lions in Tokyo on February 27 and are in a conference with the Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers.

  • Stuff

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Filed under Fiji, Japan, Rugby World Cup

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