• Kyodo


Toyota Verblitz announced Wednesday the signings the Australian pair of Wycliff Palu and Ben Lucas, and Welsh international Dominic Day for the 2016-17 Top League season.

Palu, who has won 57 caps for the Wallabies, originally signed for Verblitz in 2015 for two years. But an injury picked up during the Rugby World Cup eventually saw the club release him from his contract.

Although he was a late withdrawal from the Waratahs side to play the Sunwolves last weekend, the No. 8 is fit and looking forward to playing in Japan.

“I am very much looking forward to joining Toyota Verblitz in the Top League this season,” he said. “After the performance of the Brave Blossoms at the Rugby World Cup and looking at the support the Sunwolves have received in Super Rugby, it is an exciting time to play rugby in Japan.”

Lucas — whose brother Matt had a standout game for the Waratahs in their 57-12 win over the Sunwolves — joins from French club Montpellier.

“I thank Toyota Verblitz for the opportunity to play professional rugby in Japan,” the utility back said. “I have always wanted to play rugby in Japan and experience the Japanese culture and lifestyle after visiting the country earlier in my career. I hope I can play my part in the team and contribute to the successful performance of Toyota Verblitz in this year’s Top League competition.”

Day, who has won three caps for Wales, joins the side from English Premiership club Bath and has already been in the country a few months.

“I’m happy to be here with the squad,” the lock said. “I’ve been very impressed with the players and coaches and how professional everyone is, I hope I can add to that. I’m looking forward to a tough preseason and building into what will be a big season for Toyota.”

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