Jamie Joseph out of All Blacks running after committing to Japan

Jamie Joseph
Jamie Joseph has been Japan head coach since 2016

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph is out of the running for the vacant New Zealand job after committing to lead the Brave Blossoms through to the 2023 World Cup.

The ex-New Zealand forward, 49, guided hosts Japan to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time last month.

Joseph was one of 26 coaches invited by the All Blacks to apply for the New Zealand job after Steve Hansen stepped down following the World Cup.

"I have great expectations for rugby in Japan," said Joseph in a statement.

"I'm very honoured that I can lead the team towards the next World Cup."

Japan beat Russia, Ireland, Samoa and Scotland to reach the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time, before losing to eventual winners South Africa.

Joseph says the Brave Blossoms, who have climbed to eighth in the world ranking, have "many more issues to tackle" before the World Cup in France in four years' time.

"That's why I decided to choose the path of taking on a challenge again with the Japan team. I hope to make the team even stronger," he added.

Japan Rugby Football Union president Shigetaka Mori said: "We highly value his capability, which took the Japan team to the world's top level in just three years.

"I hope he will make the team stronger in the next four years. I look very much forward to seeing how strong the Japan team will be under the leadership of Mr Joseph."

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