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Panasonic prop Inagaki finalizes deal with Melbourne Rebels

Kyodo

Panasonic Wild Knights prop Keita Inagaki will play Super Rugby for the Melbourne Rebels, the two-time defending Top League champions announced Thursday.

The 24-year-old Japanese international will join the Rebels after the All-Japan Championship, whose final is Feb. 28.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to take a shot at Super Rugby with the Melbourne Rebels,” Inagaki said through a statement. “I hope to become a better player by working in a tougher environment.”

Inagaki has two caps for the Brave Blossoms after making his Japan debut last year. He is part of Eddie Jones’ 41-strong provisional squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Inagaki’s Panasonic teammate Shota Horie had planned to continue with the Rebels this season, but has pulled out in order to have surgery to repair nerve damage, while fellow Japan international Male Sa’u is also unavailable to play for the Melbourne club this season due to injury.