Paris - Japan star Ayumu Goromaru will join
European champions Toulon next season, according to French press reports on
The 29-year-old, who caused a stir in his
homeland when opting to join Queensland Reds for the upcoming Super 18 season
rather than Japan's first ever participants the Sunwolves, has signed a
one-year deal with the option of a second year, according to Canal Plus.
Goromaru rose to fame during last year's
World Cup, scoring 58 points as Japan won three of their four matches,
including shocking South Africa.
The fullback has scored 708 points in 56
matches for his country and is their first-choice kicker.
He is set to make his Super 18 debut in
just under two weeks' time.
When contacted, Toulon president Mourad
Boudjellal refused to comment.
Goromaru became a star in Japan as the
Brave Blossoms stunned the Springboks 34-32 at the World Cup thanks to a last
gasp try, with the fullback scoring 24 of their points in the game.
He will provide competition to Leigh
Halfpenny for the No 15 shirt at Toulon, with Canal Plus also claiming the
Wales international has agreed to extend his stay in the south of France for an
extra season - his current contract is due to expire in June, although there is
an option for another year.
Goromaru would be the second Japanese
international to play for Toulon after Christian Loamanu, the Tonga-born wing
who played there from 2009 to 2012 and currently plys his trade at Leicester in
Goromaru made his debut for Japan as a
19-year-old but only established himself as a first choice player in 2012 when
current England coach Eddie Jones took over.
After Japan's historic World Cup
performance, Goromaru was awarded the 'Ninja Master' award in his homeland.
A bronze statue of him was erected in Tokyo
and his name was given to a baby giraffe in a Shizuoka zoo.