Rangi, Gill to join Japanese Top League side

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Aussies Anaru Rangi and Liam Gill are set to join Japanese Top League outfit NTT Shining Arcs next season, the club announced on Monday.

Gill had been linked with a move to Japan in recent months after leaving French side Lyon.

It had been hoped that he might find an avenue back to Australian rugby but he turned down an offer from Rugby Australia at the start of 2020, according to director of rugby Scott Johnson.

Gill joined French Top 14 side Toulon in 2016 and has been in France ever since.

Rangi had signed on with the Rebels through to 2021 but has been released a year early.

Australia's professional players have all taken significant pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic and it is believed that players have been given the option of walking away from deals early because of the financial uncertainty facing the game.

The rake missed the Rebels' opening round clash with a knee injury but is set to remain with the team through to the end of Super Rugby AU.

Rangi made his Super Rugby debut for the Force and moved to the Rebels after the WA team was axed from Super Rugby in 2017.

He has been among the most consistent for the Rebels during his Super Rugby career and was on the Wallabies radar in recent seasons as well.

The pair will join former Wallabies and Brumbies playmaker Christian Lealiifano at the Shining Arcs, based in Tokyo.

Former Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw was also announced as a signing for the Japanese side on Monday.