Highlanders Sign Japanese International Back Row

||||||Published by Christie Gilmartin12th October 2020
Highlanders Back Row Kazuki Himeno

It has yet to be confirmed by the Highlanders on their website or social media, but it sounds like they’ve signed a top player for next season. Japanese International Back Row Kazuki Himeno will be joining from Toyota Verblitz, in the Japanese Top League. It has been all over the Japan Rugby twitter today and seems like it is definitely happening. Himeno is a fantastic player and has been a star for Japan in recent years. He can play across the Back Row and is a destructive ball carrier, with serious pace to burn. He will be an excellent addition to the Highlanders and joins Billy Harmon in boosting their impressive Back Row stocks. They lost Dillon Hunt to the Blues but have signed Himeno and Harmon. They will ad their considerable strengths to a Back Row that already contains the likes of All Black Shannon Frizell, Marino Mikaele Tu’u and the up and coming Taeriki Ben-Nicholas.

Kazuki Himeno has lead the charge, in a crop of homegrown talent, for Japan. The 26 year old has 5 tries in 17 Japan tests and previous Super Rugby experience through the Sunwolves. He is one of the stars of the Japanese rugby scene, along with Kotaro Matsushima, Shota Horie, and former Highlanders Scrum Half Fumiaki Tanaka. The latter two have been around the Brave Blossoms scene for many years now, but it is Himeno and Matsushima who can lead Japan to even greater heights. Himeno played a huge part in helping Japan reach the Quarter Finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. His experiences with the Highlanders should only further his development and the impact he can have on the national side. A quality move for all parties involved.

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