Toulon flop Goromaru set to return to Japan

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:53
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NEWS: Japan's Rugby World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru will return to Japanese Top League side Yamaha Jubilo after a frustrating spell at French Top 14 club Toulon, the fullback said Monday.

The 31-year-old, who played just a handful of games in France since making his Toulon debut last November, made the announcement on his official website. 

Goromaru shot to fame at the 2015 World Cup when Japan, then coached by current England boss Eddie Jones, won three matches, including an astonishing 34-32 shock over two-time champions South Africa in their opening game.

Japan's talisman moved to Australia to play Super Rugby for the Reds after impressing at the World Cup, but his season was prematurely cut short by a shoulder injury.

Goromaru enjoys a cult following back in Japan, where life-size statues of the player are sculpted, zoo animals are named after him and he has even been made a "ninja master".

Despite his celebrity status, however, Goromaru struggled in Super Rugby and also subsequently in France, departing with club President Mourad Boudjellal's comments ringing in his ears. 

"We don't want him either," the outspoken businessman told RMC Sport. "We won't be keeping him, he doesn't want to stay."

Agence France-Presse