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Southlander Simon Jones was part of rugby history in Japan earlier this year and now he’s back in New Zealand to help an unheralded Highlanders team prepare for the 2020 Super Rugby season.
Jones was widely acclaimed for his strength and conditioning role with the Japanese Brave Blossoms at the Rugby World Cup in September and October, helping transform the Tier 2 nation into a team with the power and endurance to make it to the quarter-finals for the first time, and a new world ranking of sixth.
It was a career highlight for the former teenage sprint star, who has previously worked for the Southland Stags, Academy Southland, High Performance Sport NZ, Southern Steel and New Zealand under 21 netball team.
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In Japan, Jones was part of an all New Zealand management team which included fellow Southlander and physiotherapist Karl McDonald, head coach Jamie Joseph and his assistants Tony Brown and Scott Hansen.
After spending three years in Japan following his recruitment by Joseph in 2016, Jones is rightly proud of what was accomplished by the management and playing group.
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