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Japan star could become world’s highest paid player

  • Toulon have set their sights on Japan and Reds back Ayumu Goromaru
  • French media reported on Sunday that the Reds new star signing had signed a two-year deal with the French side
  • The fullback could become the highest paid player in the world
  • Reds say their star signing is going nowhere
Queensland Reds and Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru has reportedly overtaken All Blacks great Dan Carter as the highest-paid rugby player in the world.

The fullback shot to fame during last year’s World Cup and became a Japanese cult hero for spearheading the Brave Blossoms’ incredible run at the tournament, which included a shock win over South Africa. He has scored 708 points in 56 matches for his country and is their first-choice kicker.

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 England.



The 29-year-old will play Super Rugby for the Reds this season, but there is talk he will then move to French glamour club Toulon, according to French TV station Canal Plus.

Goromaru then could overtake Dan Carter at the top of the earner’s list. Carter’s three-year deal with Racing 92 is said to be worth $3 million a season.

Linking up with Toulon’s billionaire owner Mourad Boudjellal – who is unafraid to splash the cash in his efforts to draw top-class players to the Top 14 club – would further cement Goromaru’s position on rugby’s rich list.

The Queensland rugby union, however, say their star signing is going nowhere. On Monday a QRU spokesperson said the reports coming out of France were not true.

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.