Eddie Jones held his first practice Tuesday since resuming his post as head coach of Japan's senior men's rugby team, the Brave Blossoms, and former captain Michael Leitch was enthusiastic.
"It was a particularly good day," Leitch said after Jones introduced the players at the two-day camp in Fukuoka to his vision of an ultrafast Japan game. "I want to work with him."
In the part of practice open to the media, players repeatedly ran through short segments of play under game-like conditions that focused on speed.
"I felt amazing passion," said Leitch, who was employed as a lock rather than in his regular back-row forward position.
Players from the four Japanese clubs in this month's Cross-Border series against New Zealand Super Rugby teams did not attend. Nine of the 34 players taking part are from university sides.
"Everyone was so young. I was surprised," said Kazuki Himeno, who led the Brave Blossoms at Rugby World Cup 2023. "It feels like we're learning a new kind of rugby. It's really fun."
Jones last coached Japan at the 2015 World Cup in England.