“They really feel they’ll win,” former Australian scrumhalf and captain George Gregan instructed CNN’s Alex Thomas in Tokyo.
Gregan, who’s the Wallabies’ most capped participant with 139 look, was integral to Australia’s 1999 World Cup triumph.
Again then, solely a handful of countries realistically harbored hopes of profitable the quadrennial match. As we speak, that checklist has grown. And in line with Gregan, Japanese followers imagine the Courageous Blossoms must be on the checklist of potential champions.
“The sport is getting nearer and nearer,” added Gregan.
Best World Cup
The discount within the hole between tier one nations — these competing within the elite competitions of Europe’s Six Nations and the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship — and the tier two nations has made this yr’s showpiece probably the most aggressive but.
“Eddie is the perfect coach I’ve ever had,” mentioned Gregan of his countryman, who was the Japan coach 4 years in the past, and was additionally an assistant coach in South Africa’s victorious 2007 arrange after taking Australia to the 2003 last.
“He typically breaks you all the way down to construct you up. He’s so supportive of his enjoying group. He can coach in every single place. He is coached in Japan, he is coached South Africans, he is coached Aussies. In the event you spoke to the bulk of people that had been coached by Eddie, he made them higher gamers.”
Love for Japan
However Jones shouldn’t be the one Australian with roots within the Land of the Rising Solar.
Gregan spent three years with Suntory Sungoliath from 2008 to 2011 and spoke enthusiastically of the nation and its welcome for visiting rugby followers.
“I really like Japan,” he mentioned. “I’ve preferred how snug folks really feel within the cities. It is so organized and the native persons are so welcoming.”
Japan subsequent tackle Samoa Saturday earlier than an important conflict towards Scotland on October 13. Win each, and Japan would defy the percentages and prime its group. From there, who is aware of how far the Courageous Blossoms may go?