IWATA, SHIZUOKA PREF. – Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru said Monday he knew Yamaha would be his home if and when he decided to shift his playing base back to Japan, and he has made that a reality.
“I felt I wanted to play for Yamaha Motors again if I were returning to Japan. I want to help them win the championship,” Goromaru said in a press conference at Yamaha Stadium.
After playing for Yamaha Jubilo from 2008 to 2016, Goromaru, one of the stars of the Brave Blossoms’ campaign at the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015, left Japan to play for Super Rugby side Queensland Reds. His time there was short-lived, however, and he joined French Top 14 side Toulon last summer.
But the 31-year-old received limited playing time with the French club and decided to return to his former Top League club instead of exercising his option to extend his deal with Toulon by a further year.
“It would’ve been too much of a challenge for me performance-wise and mentally to stay overseas for any longer. I want to reshape myself and start all over again,” said Goromaru.
“I’ll work to become the kind of player worthy to be on the national team,” he said.
Goromaru, capped 57 times by the Brave Blossoms, was a full-time company employee of Yamaha until he signed with Toulon. He signed a professional rugby contract with the Japanese automotive giant on Saturday.
The 2017-2018 Top League season begins Aug. 18, and Yamaha’s first game is against Toyota Verblitz at Toyota Stadium.