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Japanese club cancel season after bar ransacked leaving Wallabies star in limbo

By Kim Ekin
Rory Arnold of the Wallabies inspects the pitch ahead of The Rugby Championship match between the Australia Wallabies and South Africa Springboks at Allianz Stadium on September 03, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Wallabies lock Rory Arnold has been left in limbo after his Japanese club Hino Red Dolphins cancelled their season following a wild night by players that left a nightclub trashed and left waitresses assaulted.

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Seven Red Dolphins players were out in Oita, one of the host cities for the last World Cup, and caused damaged to the bar with alleged instances of groping towards female staff according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The League One club has cancelled their participation for the rest of the season out of disgrace. Arnold was among a larger group in attendance but was reportedly not involved in any wrongdoing.

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But the 32-year-old now faces the prospect of missing Eddie Jones’ World Cup squad without any game time to impress for selection, opting to stay in Japan and train all year after spurning advances from Australia’s Super Rugby sides.

His plan is to stay in Tokyo and keep fit with a personal training regime despite not being able to play any rugby and Jones will have to rely on his past performances to select from.

Arnold is one of the highest-paid Wallabies globally after inking a three-year deal with Hino reportedly worth AUD$4.5mil and is reluctant to turn his back on the contract which is in the second year.

After leaving the Brumbies in 2019, Arnold joined French powerhouse Toulouse for three seasons before moving to Japan in 2022 with Hino Red Dolphins.

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As an overseas-based Wallaby, Arnold is subject to the Giteau law and the three-player quota.

Under previous head coach Dave Rennie the lock was used last year in the Rugby Championship against South Africa and Argentina before missing the Bledisloe Cup and end of year tour.

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