• Force sign Japanese flyer

    Japan wing Akihito Yamada has signed a one-year deal with Australian Super Rugby side, the Western Force.

    Yamada is a concessional signing, as all five Australian franchises are allowed to recruit one Japanese player in addition to their 35-man squad. 

    The 29-year-old scored 54 tries over four seasons for the Panasonic Wild Knights, 20 of which came in just 14 matches during the 2012/13 season.

    Force head coach Michael Foley, who's looking to fill the void in his backline due to Nick Cummins's exit, says Yamada is an exciting addition to his squad.

    'Aki is an attacking player, who has demonstrated an ability to find the tryline. While he's played international rugby, he's keen to keep improving and has expressed a desire to challenge for a place in the match squad,' said Foley.

    The dynamic wing has scored eight Test tries in 10 appearances since his debut for Japan against Russia in November 2013. He will join the Force squad at the end of the current Japanese season and says he's looking forward to his new adventure in Perth. 

    'I'm really excited to have this great opportunity to play Super Rugby as a member of the Western Force team,' said Yamada. 

    'I would like to thank everyone, including Panasonic, who has supported me throughout my career and I hope to have a good season in Perth.'

    Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

    Post by

    Mariette Adams