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Tony Brown aims to coach in NZ again

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    24 Mar 2018     Getty Images

Brown, who is Jamie Joseph's assistant coach with the Sunwolves in Investec Super Rugby and Japan in Tests, said he was keen to return to coaching in New Zealand after the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.

"I don't know if I have got unfinished business at the Highlanders, but I love coaching that team and would love to do so again at some stage. However, they have got a coaching team in place at the moment and they are going pretty well this season," he told sport24.co.za.

"Once I complete my coaching tenure with Japan and the Sunwolves, I will just have to wait and see what happens and which opportunities come up.

"While I'm a solid all-round coach, my aspiration is to become the best attack coach in the world.

"I love the attacking side of the game and it's about how to innovate and push the barriers. The key is to try and stay ahead of everyone else around offence," he said.

South Africa could benefit by involving coaches other than their own countrymen because there were so many different ways to play the game. He felt John Mitchell's stint at the Bulls and Paul Feeney's involvement with the Stormers had sharpened their respective teams and that should benefit the South African game.

Brown said it hadn't been intended to be involved with the Sunwolves when he joined up with Joseph at Japan. But they decided to take on the role in order to get the best out of the Japanese players.

"The aim is to build our game and improve our players during the Super Rugby season. Only time will tell whether taking on both roles is going to work or not," he said.

One of the difficulties of the Sunwolves job was that they got hardly any preparation time in comparison to what happened in New Zealand.

"It's just going to take a bit more time for Japan to sort out its structure, so that the Sunwolves can prove competitive.

"Some people say that the Sunwolves don't deserve to play in Super Rugby and I 100 percent think that is an unfair comment," Brown said.

"Every side is trying to win games of rugby each week and the fact of the matter is that not all the teams can. If you weigh up all the difficulties the Sunwolves have compared to the other Super Rugby franchises, we are always disadvantaged but still turn in committed performances," he said.

Looking ahead to the World Cup next year, Brown said a betting man would put his money on the All Blacks.

"They always have to be right up there as favourites to win the competition and will be once again in Japan because they have won back-to-back World Cup tournaments. However, I think anything is possible at a World Cup," he said.

South Africa would be a strong contender and Ireland were looking very good. And just because England had lost three games, and Australia were ranked fourth, they were capable of posing a threat.

"In terms of the Japanese national team, I think we have assembled a pretty competitive team. We drew with France last year in Paris and not many teams go to France and come away with points.

"The year before, we were tied with Wales only for them to slot a last minute drop-goal and win the game. I firmly believe that we can beat any team in the world on our day if we get our game right," he said.

There was a sense of anticipation in Japan around the staging of the World Cup and Brown said if there was one thing the Japanese could do it was run a great event.