• Kyodo


Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru started his first game for Toulon on Sunday as he played the full 80 minutes in his side’s 31-12 win over Stade Francais in the French Top 14.

The 30-year-old, who made his Toulon debut a week earlier off the bench in a 27-13 defeat to Lyon, had a solid outing as he joined the line and kicked behind the defense to good effect. He also played a part in his team’s third try finished off by Liam Gill in the 24th minute.

“I’m really pleased to have played in front of the Toulon fans,” said Goromaru, who celebrated with head coach Mike Ford after the final whistle. “I got to play 80 minutes wearing the No. 15 shirt and I’d like to thank my teammates for that.”

Goromaru was playing in just his second match since May when he damaged his right shoulder playing for the Reds in Super Rugby. He had a scare in the first half when he fell on the same shoulder in an attempt to catch a high punt, but got up and finished the game.

“(The contact play) was really vigorous but it was easy with the support my teammates gave me,” Goromaru said. “I don’t think my judgment is wrong (in using kicks) but the accuracy of it is something I can work on. I’d like to make this experience count.”

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