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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Elissalde sacked as Japan coach
Japan coach Jean-Pierre Elissalde
Elissalde believed he could combine both jobs
Japan have dismissed Jean-Pierre Elissalde as coach five weeks before their final World Cup qualifying games.

Japanese Rugby Union officials were angered by the Frenchman's decision to take over as Bayonne's general manager without consulting them.

"We were very disappointed because he is a very efficient coach," said Japan RFU vice president Noboru Mashimo.

"We asked him to concentrate his work on the Japanese national team only, but he insisted he can do two roles."

The Frenchman's contract was due to run until the end of 2007, but he signed a contract to manage Bayonne earlier this month.

"It was one of the conditions that the national team coach must concentrate on the Japanese team only. As a result, we came to a decision to cancel his contract," Mashimo added.

Elissalde took over as Japan's head coach last year and led the "Cherry Blossoms" to a record of four wins and five losses in nine Tests before the Bayonne row erupted.

General manager Osamu Ota will serve as interim coach as Japan prepare for the final round of Asian World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka in November.



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