'Japan have been outstanding' – Steve Hansen raves over RWC hosts

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has added to the plaudits coming Japan's way, following the Brave Blossoms' exit from their own Rugby World Cup.

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The Brave Blossoms have taken the 2019 World Cup by storm. Source: 1 NEWS

Coached by Kiwi Jamie Joseph, Japan made history by becoming the first Asian side to reach the knockout stage of a World Cup, advancing top of Pool A with wins over Ireland and Scotland.

Although Japan's tournament ended with a 26-3 defeat to South Africa, their journey will be remembered for a long time, winning admirers both at home and internationally.

Speaking to media this afternoon, Hansen said "Japan have been outstanding".

"After the game the other night, you could actually see visibly how much it meant to them. Emotionally, they were spent, and I think that's a great sign for rugby in Japan.

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Japan’s influence at RWC 2019 will reach far beyond the tournament’s end. Source: 1 NEWS

"People in Japan respect that they gave everything they had, on the night South Africa were a little better.

"I don't think the scoreline was a true reflection, but sport can do that sometimes, it can blow out.

"You can ask a lot of people about what is success, and they'll come up with different answers.

"For me, success is not always about winning. Success is about giving your best, and they gave their best.

"They're now number six in the world, what more could you ask from them?

"They've given everything they could and so they're a huge success story of the tournament."