Japan Rugby World Cup hero Ayumu Goromaru certified 'Master of Ninjas'
ESPN Staff
December 18, 2015
Ayumu Goromaru after his certification© JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

Ayumu Goromaru has been certified a "Master of Ninjas".

The Japan Ninja Council awarded him the honour because his kicking pose "evoked images of the ancient stealth warriors".

Japan kicker Ayumu Goromaru
Ayumu Goromaru's kicking pose evokes 'images of the ancient stealth warriors'© LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

"I'm glad to be awarded the title of ninja at a time when Japanese rugby players are earning attention from overseas," Goromaru said on Japan's NHK television channel Goromaru, who has signed to play for Australia's Queensland Reds Super Rugby franchise in 2016 said that Japan's players at the World Cup, at which tournament they stunned South Africa before becoming the first team in history to miss the quarterfinals despite winning three pool games "tried to give ourselves ninja bodies to take on the world".

"I'd like to be able to transform my body so I can move like a ninja," he said of the covert operatives of feudal Japan.

Goromaru and his bronze likeness © AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

The Ninja Council was established in March to boost tourism, with the mayors and officials hoping that global interest in the ninja encourages people to visit Japan.

Goromaru has been in the news frequently since the World Cup, with a life-size bronze statue of him unveiled in Tokyo and a giraffe at a zoo in Shizuoka prefecture named after him.

© ESPN Staff

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