• Kyodo

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Former Japan international Takeomi Ito will retire after this season, ending his 25-year rugby career, a source said Thursday.

The 46-year-old forward, who plays for the Iwate Prefecture-based Kamaishi Seawaves, a second-division club in the Top Challenge League, has 62 appearances for the national side.

Ito played for the Brave Blossoms at the 1999 and 2003 World Cup, and joined the Seawaves in 2012 following 18 years with Top League side Kobe Kobelco Steelers.

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