Rebels sign Japanese flyer

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Melbourne Rebels have added another rising star to their already intimidating wing stocks, signing Japan's Kentaro Kodama for the 2017 season.

Kodama was a star for Japan against Korea last year, with five tries in an 85-0 win and four more in the next seven games showing his scoring potency.

The 24-year-old is no stranger to Aussies, playing alongside a handful in the Japanese Top League for competition heavyweights Panasonic Wild Knights, who he will be lining up for at next month's Brisbane Tens.

Rebels general manager - Baden Stephensen said Kodama would be a boost to the side's depth, adding to an outside backs department that includes Sefa Naivalu, Marika Koroibete and Tom English.


New Japanese Rebel. 🇯🇵

A photo posted by (@rugbycomau) on

“Kentaro is a rising star of Japanese Rugby so we’re pleased that he’s committed to continuing his Super Rugby career with the Rebels," he said.

“Kentaro has shown through his performances in the 2016 Top League and international Tests that his speed and nous for scoring tries will add depth to the backline and positively contribute to the Rebels program.”

Kodama was part of the inaugural Sunwolves squad last year, but opted to make the switch to an Australian franchise for 2017.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity with Melbourne Rebels,” Kodama said.

“I look forward to learning from the world’s best players and taking part in a game.”