Greig Laidlaw signs for Japanese club Shining Arcs

Former Scotland captain moves to ambitious Top League side

Greig Laidlaw was a big hit in Japan during last year's World Cup. Image: © Craig Watson -
Greig Laidlaw was a big hit in Japan during last year's World Cup. Image: © Craig Watson -

GREIG Laidlaw will play his rugby in Japan next season after joining Shining Arcs, a club in the country’s Top League. The former Scotland captain, who will turn 35 in October, recently left Clermont Auvergne.

“I’m honoured to announce that I have signed for Top League club NTT Communications Shining Arcs in Japan,” Laidlaw said on his Instagram account this morning. “I was able to experience the country, the incredible people and the culture for the first time in 2016 and again during last year’s RWC. It is a country that has provided the warmest of welcomes every time I have visited. To now be making it my home and joining the Shining Arcs family is extremely exciting.

“I have played for some incredible teams during my rugby career and I’m excited to continue with NTT Communications Shining Arcs; I look forward to bringing my experience and what I have learnt with me to Japan and to experience the rugby culture and everything this fantastic country has to offer. I can’t wait to get started!”

Laidlaw’s popularity in Japan was evident at last year’s World Cup and when Scotland toured there in 2016. His new club is owned by telecoms company NTT Communications and is based in Ichikawa, a city around a dozen miles from Tokyo. Announcing the signing of Laidlaw this morning, Shining Arcs also said they had recruited two Australians,  Liam Gill and Anaru Rangi.

Laidlaw retired from Scotland duty in the wake of the World Cup, having won 76 caps. When news broke earlier this year that he was to leave Clermont, he was initially linked with other French clubs. 

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About Stuart Bathgate 1412 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.