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Wilson signs Top League deal


James Wilson is another Kiwi at Bath with his bags packed for Japan

New Zealander James Wilson is set to follow fellow countryman Todd Blackadder out the door at The Rec for a stint in the Japan Top League.

Bath boss Blackadder recently announced he is leaving the Gallagher Premiership in England a year before his contract is due to elapse to take charge of Tokyo-based Toshiba Brave Lupus.

Now, veteran full-back Wilson has told RugbyPass he is also packing his bags for Japan after agreeing a deal to play for the recently-promoted Mitsubishi Sagamihara DynaBoars, the Kanazawa-based club that retired All Black Troy Flavell and ex-Wales winger Shane Williams played for.

“I’m going to Mitsubishi. They have just been promoted to the Top League, so it’s going to be a fantastic challenge,” revealed the 35-year-old from Invercargill, who first arrived in England at Northampton in 2012 following pit-stops in Australia and France.

“I’m really looking forward to it. The next month in Bath is going to be exciting and straight after that I’m basically heading off to Japan to start Top League before the Rugby World Cup.

“I still want to continue playing and do great things… I owe the game so much. It has given me so many opportunities coming from a small town in New Zealand.”

Salary cap restrictions forced Wilson out at Bath at the end of the last season, but injuries meant Blackadder recalled him from Southland last November.

“You never know what is going to happen around the corner. I wanted to stay. Unfortunately I couldn’t, but I’d another opportunity a few months down the line to come back and join them. I’m grateful for that.

“They sort of play on the edge a bit (with salary cap) and unfortunately I couldn’t stick around, but I managed to get home and help out my province (Southland). Then with a few injuries I was asked back over. I was more than happy to help out.”

WATCH: Part one of the RugbyPass Operation Jaypan documentary ahead of the 2019 World Cup

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James Wilson is another Kiwi at Bath with his bags packed for Japan