Australia duo confirm moves to Japan
Australia internationals Will Genia and Quade Cooper have confirmed they will join Japanese club Kintetsu Liners later this year.
The duo have been team-mates at both the Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds and will now continue together in Japan after becoming the latest top-level players to confirm they will be playing their club rugby in the country.
The Liners currently play in the Top Challenge League, which is the second tier of club rugby in Japan, but they have ambitions of earning promotion and challenging over the coming years.
Scrum-half Genia will join up with his new team after the World Cup although fly-half Cooper may arrive in Japan earlier. He was not included in Australia's squad for the Rugby Championship and may miss out on World Cup selection.
Both players are looking forward to the challenge that awaits them with the Liners, with Genia setting lofty ambitions for what he wants to achieve with the club.
"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 number one team in Japan."
Genia and Cooper are not the only players set to play their club rugby in Japan. Fellow Aussie David Pocock has already agreed a deal with Panasonic Wild Knights, while New Zealand trio Kieran Read, Brodie Rettalick and Ryan Crotty, as well as South Africa's Duane Vermeulen, will also be heading to the country.
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.