Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan rugby lures Kruis, Parkes

Japan rugby lures Kruis, Parkes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
England lock George Kruis (above) has signed to play for Panasonic Wild Knights in next year’s Japanese Top League. AFP

Japan rugby lures Kruis, Parkes

England lock George Kruis and Welsh centre Hadleigh Parkes have signed to play for Panasonic Wild Knights in next year’s Japanese Top League, the rugby club announced on Monday.

Kruis, capped 45 times for his country and once for the British and Irish Lions, featured at last year’s World Cup but coach Eddie Jones mainly used the 30-year-old as a substitute in England’s run to the final.

New Zealand-born Parkes, 32, was an ever-present for the Welsh side that lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions South Africa.

For the Scarlets player, the decision effectively means an end to his international career and he told the BBC that moving to Japan “certainly wasn’t a quick or easy decision”.

“But when you have to weigh up your family’s future, it is an incredible opportunity for us and we are really excited about what lies ahead,” said Parkes in his BBC online column.

Welsh rules mean someone playing outside Wales can only be selected for the national team if he has already won 60 caps or is uncapped. Parkes has won 29.

Former Saracen Kruis, on the other hand, refused to see the move to Japan as calling time on his international career.

“I would like to think there is plenty left in the legs and this is definitely not an England retirement,” he told British media.

Kruis and Parkes are following the well-trodden route of a short spell in Japan towards the end of their careers – a path taken by some of the legends of the game.

Former All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter was perhaps the highest profile of these, recently announcing he was leaving the Kobelco Steelers after taking them to the 2018-2019 Top League title.

The next Japanese Top League season is slated to begin in January after the coronavirus forced the cancellation of the 2020 edition.

The Panasonic Wild Knights, coached by former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, won three straight Top League titles from 2014-2016.


  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped