Rugby

Flyhalf Bernard Foley to join Kubota Spears after Rugby World Cup

Reuters

Australia flyhalf Bernard Foley will join the Top League’s Kubota Spears after the Rugby World Cup, the club announced on Thursday.

Foley, who is in Japan with the Australian squad ahead of the World Cup later this month, will link up with the Chiba-based Spears in time for the 2019 season that begins in January.

It will be his second stint playing in Japan having previously featured for the Ricoh Black Rams in 2015 and 2016.

“I am very happy that I am joining Kubota Spears,” Foley said in a statement released Thursday.

“Kubota Spears is a team which not only has been getting good results but also is full of enthusiasm to be better and stronger.

“I appreciate that I was given an opportunity to play in Japan again.

“Rugby is becoming popular in Japan and I think the level of the Top League is the highest ever.”

The Spears have never won Japan’s premier rugby competition and finished seventh last season.

Foley is the latest big name to announce he is staying in Japan after the World Cup.

Compatriots Will Genia, Quade Cooper and David Pocock will also compete in Japan’s domestic competitions next season, along with New Zealand captain Kieran Read and South African No. 8 Duane Vermeulen.

Foley is part of Michael Cheika’s World Cup squad that is hoping to win Australia’s third title and first since 1999.

Australia begins its World Cup campaign against Fiji on Sept. 21.