Japan unveil Goromaru statue

2015-11-30 10:00
Ayumu Goromaru (Getty Images)

Tokyo - Japan is looking to cash in on the rugby fever that swept the nation in recent weeks by unveiling a life-size bronze statue of Rugby World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru.

However, fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the golden-coloured figure - crouching with its fingers clasped together in the player's trademark kick routine - will have to be quick.

After being unveiled by Goromaru himself on Monday it will decorate Tokyo's Christmas illuminations for a month only and be removed again afterwards.

"They've reproduced my fingers in real detail," Japan's latest sporting pinup told reporters. "When I first heard about the statue I kind of wished they had statues of the whole Japan team."

Goromaru played a key role as Japan's Brave Blossoms, led by Australian coach Eddie Jones, upset the odds by posting three wins at the recent World Cup in England, including a stunning 34-32 victory over two-time champions South Africa in their opening game.

His metronomic kicking in particular helped elevate Goromaru to hero status in Japan after further victories over Samoa and the United States as Japan narrowly missed out on a place in the quarter-finals.

Rugby fanatics have even started flocking in their thousands to a giant golden Buddha statue at a temple in central Japan because its hands are pressed together and pointing skyward like Goromaru as he weighs up a kick.

Before the ceremony to unveil his statue, the bronze Goromaru stood covered somewhat forlornly in a ghostly white sheet.

The player will hope that does not prove an omen for next year, when he joins Queensland Reds for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

"From February when I take on the challenge of playing overseas I'll be starting from zero," he said. "I want to show that Japanese players can dream of playing abroad."

Read more on:    japan  |  ayumu goromaru  |  rugby

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