Japan Rugby Coach, Captain 'proud' Of The Team

Japan rugby coach, captain 'proud' of the team

The members of Japan's national rugby team have looked back on their performance in the World Cup, one day after failing to reach the semifinals.

Head coach Jamie Joseph and the 31 players held a news conference on Monday in Tokyo.

Japan made it to the final eight for the first time in a World Cup, but were defeated 26 to 3 by South Africa in their quarterfinal game on Sunday night. Japan topped the pool stage, winning all four matches.

Joseph said the players had worked incredibly hard for the past three years and that put them in a really good position to start for their goal of reaching the knockout stage.

He said he is "very, very proud" of the fans and everyone who supported the team.

Joseph also thanked the players who were not chosen for the team, the coaches and the public, saying Japan's advance to the quarterfinals wouldn't have happened without their support.

He said, "Arigato gozaimashita," or "Thank you," in Japanese.

Captain Michael Leitch said he was pleased the team reached the knockout stage, and he is proud to have served as the captain.

Speaking in Japanese, Leitch said they could achieve their goal because Joseph was able to create what they call "One Team."

He said Japanese rugby fans have been increasing in number, so he hopes to play in more matches that will inspire them.