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Dublin: 19°C Sunday 13 June 2021

Etzebeth, Folau and Pollard to play in Japan after the World Cup

The trio are all taking short-term moves abroad after the World Cup.

Etzebeth will return to the Stormers in time for the 2016 season.
Etzebeth will return to the Stormers in time for the 2016 season.
Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

MUCH LIKE THE GAA player who heads off to play in the Boston or San Francisco championship after his county has exited the qualifiers, a few months in Japan is becoming the new craze for southern hemisphere rugby players.

And one Japanese side in particular seem to be recruiting very well indeed after capturing three huge stars for a few months after the World Cup.

The NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes have announced that they’ve acquired the services of Israel Folau, and Springbok pair Eben Etzebeth and Handre Pollard after the tournament.

Earlier today it was announced that Folau has signed a new three year deal to stay in Australia, but the full-back will be joining the Japanese side for a few months, before returning to the Waratahs in time for the start of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Likewise, Etzebeth and Pollard will play for the Hurricanes on a short term basis, before rejoining the Stormers and Bulls respectively in time for the Super Rugby kick off.

Despite so many top names opting for short stints in Japan, the new Japanese based Super Rugby franchise is struggling to gain interest.

The Tokyo franchise is still without a name or a single player, despite being due to take part in the 2016 Super Rugby season.

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About the author:

Neil Treacy

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