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Japan coach Joseph praying for good weather at Twickenham

November 12, 2018

LONDON (AP) — Japan coach Jamie Joseph laughed off advice from predecessor Eddie Jones that Japan should seek divine intervention for their test against England this weekend.

Jones warned Japan that England will be “absolutely ruthless” at Twickenham on Saturday, eager to “physically smash” the Japanese in response to losing to New Zealand 16-15 last weekend.

Jones, who coached Japan from 2012-15, quipped that Japan find a temple and “pray, pray, pray,” but Joseph wasn’t fazed.

Joseph said he won’t be going to any temples, but will be praying for a game without rain.

“In tough conditions it’s tough to get our game going, so we’re hoping and praying for a bit of (good) weather,” Joseph said on Monday.

“When we’ve got the ball and guys are really excited about playing, we’ve got a different style of play; we’re not as big as others, but we’re quick.”

The Japan team watched the England-New Zealand test on Saturday, while Joseph went to the test at Twickenham, where the former All Blacks loose forward enjoyed the cut and thrust in the rain.

“Those types of games are exactly what rugby’s all about in my view. But I suspect the game that we play, how the All Blacks play, and the fact England have had a few matches, it could be a little bit different this weekend.

“We don’t want rain come kickoff time, and we’ve shown over the last couple of years if we can get our game going we can push teams hard.”

Japan is playing England for the first time since the 1987 Rugby World Cup.

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