HAUTE-GARONNE, FRANCE – French champion Toulouse has brought in hooker Takeshi Hino from Top League outfit Yamaha Jubilo as short-term cover during the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
Hino, 29, ranked as the No. 4. hooker in Japan and out of the running for the Japanese squad, will make his debut in the opening Top 14 game against Bordeaux on Saturday, his new club announced.
Toulouse is struggling for cover at hooker after recently losing Guillaume Marchand with a broken cheek and his brother Julien with knee ligament damage. The club will also lose Peato Mauvaka who has been called up to France’s World Cup squad.
Additionally, new signing Jacobus Visagie from the Bulls in South Africa has yet to get a visa.
Hino’s arrival follows the signing of a partnership accord between the two clubs whereby Toulouse, missing several star players on duty with France, can bring in Yamaha Jubilo players to fill the gaps during the Sept. 30-Nov. 2 World Cup.
Yamaha Jubilo’s Australian lock Richie Arnold is already in Toulouse as part of the scheme and two Toulouse youngsters, Yannick Youyoutte, 19, and Karl-Robin Malanda, 20, have gone the other way.
Winger Akihito Yamada, who is hoping to secure a spot in Japan’s World Cup squad, has already joined another French side, Lyon, on loan.