JAPAN’S Rugby World Cup hero Ayumu Goromaru has been officially unveiled as the Queensland Reds’ big backline signing.
Fullback Goromaru’s poise and goalkicking stamped him as a breakout performer for Japan’s high-achievers at the recent tournament in England.
For the battling Reds, he is a welcome recruit for next season after the loss of so much star power.
Quade Cooper, finally unveiled this week by Toulon, Will Genia (Stade Francais) and James O’Connor (Toulon) have all departed for French rugby.
Significantly, Goromaru, 29, fills a void because the Reds were without a top-class goalkicker on their books once O’Connor and Cooper bid adieu.
It was Goromaru’s boot that kept Japan clawing away at the Springboks so they could finally pull off a stunning 34-32 upset in Brighton.
He contributed 24 points in all to Japanese rugby’s greatest day.
He has become a cult hero in Japan since, followed in the street and frequently stopped for photos.
“Ayumu was one of the stand-out fullbacks of the Rugby World Cup but as importantly, he has been performing at a consistently high level for Yamaha Júbilo in the Japan League for many years,” Reds executive general manager Daniel Herbert said.
“Both of our assistant coaches, Nick Stiles and Matt O’Connor, have coached against Ayumu in Japan and have said he is a player that worries any opposition.
“His recent goal-kicking percentage sits at or above 80 per cent, an area in which the Reds are looking to improve in 2016.
“He is a quality player who will add depth to our outside backs.
“The QRU thanks the Yamaha Júbilo club for their support in Ayumu joining the Reds for the 2016 Super Rugby season.”
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