‘Goro’-mania is officially over.
Ayumu Goromaru has played his last match for the Queensland Reds after suffering a shoulder injury in Saturday’s Super Rugby win over the Sunwolves of Japan.
The 30-year-old fullback requires surgery on an AC joint injury and will be out of action for the next 12 weeks, meaning he definitely won’t be a part of Queensland’s final three games of the season, which will all be played after the June Test window.
The Reds have not offered Goromaru a contract for next season, and are unlikely to, with growing speculation he will take up a rich deal with European glamour club Toulon next year.
“I’m disappointed I can’t play out the rest of the season with my Reds teammates and I’m obviously disappointed to be missing out on the June Test series with Japan,” Goromaru said.
“I’ve had a fantastic time in Australia and now I just want to work hard on my recovery. I’m looking forward to what challenges are ahead.”
Goromaru copped a massive hit in the second half of Saturday’s match, strangely choosing to shoulder-charge instead of tackle the Sunwolves’ giant lock Liaki Moli as he was bearing down to score in the right corner.
Moli touched down untroubled, levelling the scores at 25-25, but Goromaru was left in agony on the turf and immediately came off the ground clutching his shoulder.
He insisted in the post-match press conference that the injury was “no problem” but scans on Saturday night revealed a separation of his AC joint.
Goromaru was making just his third start for the Reds, and had been a largely underwhelming recruit for the battling province.
Although he was a huge marketing drawcard, and the crowd that came to see him take on some of his teammates from Japan’s World Cup squad last year was Queensland’s biggest of the season.