BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Japan’s Rugby World Cup hero Ayumu Goromaru said he is up for the Super Rugby challenge as the fullback was unveiled by the Queensland Reds on Monday.
“I was impressed by the speed and physicality of teams that play Super Rugby, so I’m looking forward to that,” Goromaru said at a press conference where eight Japanese TV crews were on hand.
“I want to wear the Reds’ jersey, I’ve got a lot of pride in that. I’m looking forward to playing for the Reds and really ask for a lot of support and encouragement from the fans.”
Coach Richard Graham said he has high expectations of Goromaru, whose kicking game he believes will be a strong asset to a team that converted less than 60 percent on average from the tee.
“Having a guy that kicks anywhere between 85 and 94 percent over the last few seasons is valuable,” Graham said. “A lot of games over the last season were lost by small margins so having a guy that can kick goals is very good.
“Goromaru played well at the World Cup and on the world stage. There’s absolutely no doubt it’s a good thing for the Reds.”
Goromaru caught the Reds’ attention with his performance at the World Cup in England, where Eddie Jones’ Japan won three of four — including the memorable 34-32 victory over South Africa — and became the darlings of the tournament.
It was Jones who brokered the move to Queensland for the Yamaha Jubilo man, who had wanted to spend more time with his family and is already looking forward to life in Brisbane.
“I spoke with Eddie Jones about the Reds,” Goromaru said. “I had thoughts about my family, I’ll be able to spend more time with them in an established place and for my rugby development, it will allow me to go and play some overseas rugby.
“Brisbane is a beautiful city, lots of greenery and parks so I’ve been able to enjoy them with my children. I’m really looking forward to living here.”
The Reds play the Brumbies in a trial match on Friday, but the decision about whether Goromaru will play will be made Tuesday.