Japanese coach Jones welcomes SBW's impact

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James Mortimer     02 Sep 2012     Getty Images

Williams arrived in Japan to begin his stint with the Panasonic Wild Knights this week, but the club has decided to put their big name signing on the bench for their Top League opener against the Ricoh Black Rams.

Panasonic's next game, and Williams likely debut for the club, will be against NTT Communications Shining Arcs.

Jones, who spent years advising Suntory club, the current Japanese champions, took over from John Kirwan as head coach for the Brave Blossoms, and told Reuters a 'special' All Black was good for rugby business in Japan.

"He's just played two absolutely outstanding Tests against Australia and with his profile he will bring an enormous amount of interest," Jones said.

"To have a regular All Black, and one who's maybe even a little more special, with his background in rugby league and the boxing, come in is tremendous for Japanese rugby."

"I've only met him a couple of times but he seems like a humble guy and he always puts his body on the line, be it for the Chiefs or the All Blacks."

"If Panasonic are willing to pay that sort of money for him to play, good luck to him. I think he'll be good value for money."

Jones meanwhile said he had a mammoth task in front of him to guide Japan to success, especially in Rugby World Cups.

"The reality is Japan haven't won a World Cup game for 20 years," he said.
"The picture's not great but we're trying to maximise Japan's strengths with quick, fit and skilful players. They've always been admired for their inventiveness and courage."