• Kyodo


Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru said Wednesday he will play in the French Top 14 with Toulon from August.

“As it has been announced today, it’s been decided I will play at Toulon from August in the French league,” Goromaru said on his official blog site.

“I had a lot to think about before I made the decision. But I can’t think of anything more regretful than not taking on a challenge you really want to tackle.

“Now, I just want to get fit as soon as possible and move on to the next stage in my career.”

Toulon has announced the 30-year-old Goromaru’s contract is for one year with an option for another. His Japanese Top League club, Yamaha Jubilo, said it has terminated its full-time employment contract with Goromaru and re-signed him as a team advisor.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup star will watch Toulon in its Top 14 semifinal on June 18 and will be unveiled at the team’s home ground three days later.

Goromaru patterned his famous pre-kick routine on former England star Jonny Wilkinson, who is affiliated with the Toulon club.

“He is a wonderful player, and a wonderful scorer,” Toulon chairman Mourad Boudjellal said on his team’s website. “He is coming to become the first Japanese player to win a major title in Europe. Working with Jonny Wilkinson will help prepare him for the next World Cup in Japan.”

Goromaru is working his way back from a right shoulder injury he suffered last month with the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby. He had season-ending surgery to repair the shoulder.

Goromaru’s signing nixes any hope the Sunwolves had of luring him to the Japanese franchise for the next Super Rugby season, with the Top 14 campaign running well into June.

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