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Brumbies dip into Japan market

Sun, 05 Jan 2014 15:12
Harumichi-tatekawa Harumichi-tatekawa-japan

The Brumbies have joined the growing queue to sign up Japanese talent for Super Rugby.

Utility back Harumichi Tatekawa will join compatriots Fumiaki Tanaka (Highlanders) and Shota Horie (Melbourne Rebels) in Super Rugby when he plays for the 2013 runners-up, the Brumbies, this year.

The 24-year-old, who can play at flyhalf or centre, will move to Canberra once his Kubota Spears team completed its Top League campaign, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The Kubota Spears coach, Wallaby Toutai Kefu, declared Tatekawa, capped 20 times by the Brave Blossoms, as "the best Japanese player I've seen".

"How that translates to Super Rugby is a bit unknown," he told Canberra Times.

"I think he can do it, he's a talented kid. Skill-wise he can do everything and he's a big, tough boy."

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham and Wallaby legend is also convinced of Tatekawa's credentials.

"Another player in that No.10/No.12 position is great for us, it allows depth and we're quite lucky to have Haru," Larkham told the newspaper which said Tatekawa's arrival in Canberra was a part of a development plan.

"There's going to be a lot of competition from those positions and Haru will definitely be pushing for one of those spots given his form for the Japanese team."

"The standard of footy in Japan is a little bit less than Super Rugby, but I think individual players have the skills and when you put them in a good system you'll see improvement," he added.

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