My predecessor as Japan coach, New Zealand’s John Kirwan, favoured foreign players in his selections. He included plenty of New Zealand- and Pacific Island-born players. I headed in the opposite direction. I wanted a Japanese-driven team, and the only foreigner I would consider initially was Michael Leitch – who spoke better Japanese than some of the local boys in the squad. Michael was a Kiwi but he had lived in Japan since he was 15. I liked him and sensed he would become a dominant leader. But he had been assimilated so completely that he was too Japanese for my liking. He was too passive when I really needed him to show the bark and bite of a Kiwi mongrel.


  • Assimilate: 同化させる。考え方を同じにする。
  • Completely: 完全に。
  • Dominant: 主要な。有力な。支配力を持つ。
  • Driven: 動かされた。
  • Favour: 〜の方を好む。
  • Head in the opposition direction: 反対の方向に進む。先任者のとった傾向の反対の方向を選択する。
  • Initially: 最初は。
  • Kiwi: ニュージーランド人。
  • Mongrel: 雑種。雑種犬。
  • Passive: 受け身な。従順な。言いなりになる。
  • Predecessor: 前任者。
  • Sensed: 感じた。
  • Show the bark and bite of a Kiwi mongrel: ニュージーランドの激しい一面を見せる。日本人的ではなくニュージーランドの面を出して吠えるような、噛み付くよな激しさを見せる。
  • Show the bark: 檄を飛ばす。吠える。
  • Squad: チーム。隊。分隊。

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