The 34-year-old was estimated as the world’s richest player following his performances at the 2015 World Cup in England, where he scored 24 points in “Miracle of Brighton” 34-32 victory over the Springboks.
DISTINCTIVE GOAL-KICKING STANCE
Goromaru’s rugged good looks and distinctive goal-kicking stance earned him a huge following in Japan, with a bronze statue and a “Master of Ninjas” title among the honours bestowed on the fullback, who also had a giraffe named after him at a Japanese zoo.
Goromaru-mania even prompted fans to flock to see a Buddha statue said to be in a similar pose to that the pin-up struck in his pre-kick routine.
After unsuccessful stints with the Reds and Toulon, he returned to Japan’s Yamaha Jubilo in 2017.
Despite winning 57 caps for Japan, he missed out on a place in the national squad when the country hosted the 2019 World Cup – a tournament that saw the Brave Blossoms reach the last eight for the first time in their history.
Former Japan head coach and current England boss Eddie Jones bemoaned Goromaru’s on-field fall from grace following the 2015 World Cup, accusing the player of spending more time filming commercials than practising goal-kicking.
The Top League, Japan’s domestic competition, kicks off its season on January 16, 2021, and runs until May.
It will be the final season before the launch of a new competition in 2022.