Ex-Scotland captain Laidlaw the latest to sign up for Japanese club rugby

The 34-year-old was a popular figure at last year’s World Cup in Japan.

FORMER SCOTLAND CAPTAIN Greig Laidlaw has signed for Japanese club NTT Communications Shining Arcs.

The Top League side confirmed the signing of the 34-year-old scrum-half along with Wallabies-capped flanker Liam Gill and Melbourne Rebels hooker Anaru Rangi.

Laidlaw, who was a huge favourite among local supporters during last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, will make the move to the Shining Arcs after spending the last three seasons with Top 14 club Clermont.

greig-laidlaw Dan Sheridan / INPHO Laidlaw is heading for Japanese club rugby. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Laidlaw retired from international rugby following the World Cup and having won 76 caps for Scotland. No other player has captained the Scots more often than Laidlaw’s record of 40 games as skipper.

His 714 Test points have him second on the all-time highest points-scorer for Scotland behind Chris Paterson [809].

Laidlaw, who first came through at Edinburgh and then moved to Gloucester in 2014, said he’s honoured to be joining the Shining Arcs.

“I was able to experience the country, the incredible people and the culture for the first time in 2016 and again during last year’s RWC,” said Laidlaw. “It is a country that has provided the warmest of welcomes every time I have visited. To now be making it my home and joining the Shining Arcs family is extremely exciting.

“I have played for some incredible teams during my rugby career and I’m excited to continue with NTT Communications Shining Arcs; I look forward to bringing my experience and what I have learnt with me to Japan and to experience the rugby culture and everything this fantastic country has to offer. I can’t wait to get started.”

Japanese club rugby has been attracting some of the biggest names in the game in recent years, with All Blacks star Beauden Barrett having recently confirmed a move to Suntory Sungoliath on a one-season contract next year.

In 2020, the Top League featured world-class players like Damian de Allende, RG Snyman, Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read, Willie le Roux, David Pocock, and Samu Kerevi.

The new Top League season is due to start in January 2021.

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