The University of Canberra Brumbies have recruited their first Japanese player with Harumichi Tatekawa set to join the Canberra-based franchise by the end of January.
Highly endorsed by coaches like Eddie Jones, Toutai Kefu and George Gregan, the inside back has been a star for the Japanese national team, earning 20 caps for the Cherry Blossoms since his debut in 2012.
A big playmaker who looks equally as comfortable at either 10 or 12, Tatekawa will add extra depth to an already impressive UC Brumbies backline.
UC Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham made undertones on Tuesday that his new recruit would play a big part in the 2014 Super Rugby season.
“Haru is a big, strong flyhalf who we see fitting into our program seamlessly,” Larkham said.
“He is a bit like Matt Toomua in that he has excellent skills with the ball but also makes solid contributions in defence. Physically he’ll be right up to the challenge of Super Rugby.
“His kick and pass are real assets of his game and nicely round off an impressive skill set. Haru has a good rugby mind and a solid understanding of the game so we are really excited by the opportunity to bring him into our program. “
Currently representing Kubota in the Japanese Top League, Tatekawa will arrive in Canberra by the end of January and is likely to travel with the team to Queenstown for its first trial against the Highlanders on January 31.
The UC Brumbies have previously fielded players from Ireland, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, but Tatekawa is the club’s first Asian born and raised squad member.
POS: Flyhalf, Inside Centre
H/W: 1.82m; 92kg
Japanese Top League Club: Kubota
Tests: 20 (Japan)