Wallabies halfback pair Will Genia and Quade Cooper will both join Japanese second-tier side Kintetsu Liners after the World Cup.
The Melbourne Rebels duo, who also played together at the Reds, are the latest high-profile Australians to sign contracts with a Japanese team.
Reds centre Samu Kerevi has signed for Suntory Goliath, while Sekope Kepu, David Pocock, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona and Christian Leali’ifano have also all taken up contracts abroad.
The Liners, who play in Japan’s second-tier Top Challenge League, said that Genia will link up with the club after the World Cup, but Cooper, who was not named in the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship squad, could move to Japan as soon as September.
Japan’s domestic league season will begin in January 2020, which is later than usual due to the World Cup, which starts on 20 September.
‘I want to play soon as a member of a club with such history and tradition,’ Genia said in a statement on the club’s website. ‘My aim is to do my best and, through my play, I would like to make this the No 1 team in Japan.’
New Zealand’s Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick and Ryan Crotty will also be heading to Japan, along with Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Photo: Marty Cambridge/RUGBY.com.au