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Mapimpi to link up with Ackermann as Springbok wing's new Japanese team is confirmed

By Online Editors
South Africa winger Makazole Mapimpi is heading to Japan.

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Springbok wing Makazole Mapimpi has agreed to join Japanese Top League side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, where he will link up with former Gloucester coach, and fellow South African, Johan Ackermann. Mapimpi is the headline signing for the Red Hurricanes, who are set for an influx of South African stars.


The Red Hurricanes have also signed three players from Ackermann’s former club, Gloucester.

Mapimpi is believed to have signed a one-year deal, which will see him return to the Sharks next year.

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Ackermann left Gloucester after three years last month, and his arrival is already proving to be productive for the Red Hurricanes, with his team shaping up to have a big South African influence next season.

Sharks forward Tyler Paul is also joining the club, along with Gloucester’s Franco Marais and Ruan Vermaak, who makes the move from Super Rugby side the Lions.

Wales centre Owen Williams will also link up with his former Gloucester head coach in Japan, along with his Gloucester teammate Tom Marshall.

The Hurricanes announced their new signings on social media, and World Cup winner Mapimpi told the club’s official website that he was looking forward to a new challenge.


“It is extremely exciting. I am honoured to be with you,” Mapimpi said.

“I have very good memories of last year’s World Cup in Japan. And I believe that Red Hurricanes will have more wonderful experiences and memories.

“Also, I’m really looking forward to working as a team with new members such as Johann Ackermann.

“And finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the South African Association, Sharks, NTT Docomo, and my management team for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”


Williams follows fellow Wales international Hadleigh Parkes to the Japanese Top League, with Parkes agreeing terms with the the Panasonic Wild Knights earlier this season.

“As I watched the Rugby World Cup last year, I was fascinated by the supportiveness of Japanese people for rugby, and I’m really looking forward to joining the  Red Hurricanes team,” Williams said.

“I hear that Osaka is a wonderful city to live in, so I and my partner can’t wait to immerse ourselves in the Japanese lifestyle and enjoy wonderful Japanese food.

“I also look forward to the aggressive attacking rugby that Ackerman coaches. We can’t wait for the entry restrictions to be lifted and to join the teammates of the future.”


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