McCormick hangs up his boots
February 8, 2000

New Zealand-born Andrew McCormick, the first overseas-born skipper of Japan's national rugby team, said Tuesday he had decided to end his career and move into coaching.

McCormick will become head coach of his Japanese company team.

"It was a difficult decision, but I thought it is the best way for our team. It's a new challenge for me to become the head coach. I'm really looking forward to it," 33-year-old McCormick told reporters.

McCormick joined Toshiba Fuchu in 1992 as a centre and led the Tokyo-based team to their third straight national championship last season.

The son of former All Black great Fergie McCormick became the first foreigner to captain the national team in 1998 and played 25 international matches for Japan, including three defeats in the World Cup in Wales last October.

McCormick had said he would retire from the national team shortly after the World Cup, but he had expressed his intention to play for Toshiba Fuchu for another season.

His team failed to earn a berth in the national championships, however, after a humiliating 42-0 defeat to Kobe Steel.

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