Japanese fullback Ayumu Goromaru says that he is looking forward to being tested in a new way having joined up with the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.
The new Reds signing says that he is not intimidated by the thought of regularly playing against the Southern Hemisphere’s big physical players.
The twenty-nine-year-old Goromaru shot to fame playing for Japan in their Rugby World Cup campaign last year when they became the first team to win three pool matches and still be eliminated.
Goromaru was also one of the stars in Japan’s now famous 34-32 upset of two-time champions South Africa.
The fullback now insists that he is the step-up to Super Rugby.
“It’s my first time in Super Rugby but I hope to be able to bring something to the Reds,” Goromaru told a news conference in Brisbane, according to Japanese media reports.
“The level of speed and power in Super Rugby is different so I’m looking forward to testing myself.”
“It will be a very proud moment for me to pull on the Reds jersey,” added Goromaru, who has become something of a celebrity in Japan since the World Cup.
“Hopefully the Reds fans will get behind me.”
Goromaru’s signing by the Reds is a clever move as he is the most popular player in Japan and the Reds will play many of their matches at a more appealing time for Japanese fans given that the Tokyo-based franchise the Sunwolves are in the South African conference.
The Reds play the Brumbies in a Super Rugby warm up on Friday before the start of the Super Rugby season later this month.
Goromaru is one of six Japan players to sign for clubs in Australia or New Zealand for the 2016 campaign, including national captain Michael Leitch (Chiefs), Male Sa’u (Blues) and Hendrik Tui, who will line up alongside Goromaru in Queensland.