Japan World Cup Star Kotaro Matsushima Signs Two-Year Deal With European Giants


Japan World Cup star Kotaro Matsushima will be plying his trade in Europe next season having signed a two-year deal with French giants Clermont Auvergne.

The 26-year-old lit up the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year as the home nation reached the quarter-finals for the first time, scoring upsets against Ireland and Scotland along the way to top their pool before going out to eventual winners South Africa.

Matsushima scored five tries at the tournament, including a hat-trick against Russia.

The signing is “fantastic news for the club, our region and our supporters,” said Clermont’s sporting director Franck Azema.

Matsushima said Clermont have been in contact with the prolific winger for a “long time” ahead of the confirmed move.

“My wish was to join a great rugby team and a club that really wanted me to be part of its goals,” Matsushima said

“The people of Clermont-Ferrand have been in contact with me for a long time and showed a lot of interest in my coming.”

Matsushima will no doubt help make up for the loss of English international Nick Abendanon and Samoan-born former All Black Isaia Toeava, who are both leaving the Top 14 side at the end of the season.

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