The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

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A cool-headed rugby player filled with fighting spirit:Mr. Ayumu Goromaru

"A Japanese player with an extraordinary intensive playing style." "A king-sized back who is known for his 'Rage'." People usually identify Mr. Goromaru by his toughness. Although he gives people the impression of "a sports team captain loaded with enthusiasm," he was acting in an energetic but quiet manner when he showed up for his interview.

"There is no way I can describe my 4-year school life at Waseda in a few sentences. It's one of the most fulfilling periods in my...," Mr. Goromaru answered slowly when he was choosing the appropriate words for our interview questions. He told us that it was a difficult decision to choose the university he was to enter after graduating from high school, between Waseda and Kanto Gakuin University, because his brother entered Kanto Gakuin. "But, as I wanted to wear the red rugby shirt and become the best player in Japan, I decided to apply for Waseda," he said.

Photo:Courtesy of Waseda University Rugby Football Club

Despite painful injuries to his left hand and scratches on his face, Mr. Goromaru said: "The harder you work, the more you understand people's pain. I think our team understands this idea very well." When we then asked him what he thought about some of the junior club members finding him scary, he gave a wry grin and answered: "I don't think I've ever tried to make them nervous. I just tell them 'That's wrong' when they make mistakes. But I did start paying attention to communicating with the junior members once I'd become a 4th-year student." This is how he expressed his determination to bring together his team as vice-captain.

Mr. Goromaru was supervised by Coach Katsuyuki Kiyomiya and Coach Ryuji Nakatake. He earned their confidence when his team became the Japanese champion. "Getting to know my coaches?getting to know my teammates?making new friends at overseas tournaments: these are very important memories to me. Had I not been playing rugby all these years, I wouldn't have been able to meet any of them," he said. Once, he had even talked to a sick supporter who insisted on watching his match despite being awfully sick.

Mr. Goromaru told us that he would like to be a coach in the future, so that he can raise youngsters who share the same dream. "My current task is to take the championship of the 'Top League' (a 12-team rugby league in Japan)," he said. It would be great to see the audience calling out "GORO!" one day in the World Cup tournament.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Ayumu Goromaru

Born 1985 in Fukuoka Prefecture. Former student of Saga Prefectural Saga Technical High School. Graduated from the School of Sport Sciences in March this year. Height 185cm, weight 95kg. Player for the Under-17 Japan National Team since high school. Was chosen as a member for the Under-19, Under-21, and Under-23 National Team. First appeared as a player for the Japan National Team in the Uruguay match in 2005. He played the fullback position in the Waseda Rugby Football Club. He will join the Yamaha Jubilo rugby union team now that he has graduated.