Rugby Union

Reds and Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru becomes world rugby's highest paid player

Queensland Reds and Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru has reportedly overtaken All Blacks great Dan Carter as the highest-paid rugby player in the world.

Goromaru shot to fame during last year's World Cup and became a Japanese cult hero for spearheading the Brave Blossoms' incredible run at the tournament, which included a shock win over South Africa.

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The 29-year-old will play Super Rugby for the Reds this season and there is talk he will then move to French glamour club Toulon, according to French TV station Canal Plus.

Goromaru will overtake Dan Carter at the top of the earner's list. Carter's three-year deal with Racing 92 is said to be worth $3 million a season.

Centre of attention: Reds signing Ayumu Goromaru has become rugby's top earner.
Centre of attention: Reds signing Ayumu Goromaru has become rugby's top earner. Photo: Getty Images

A French newspaper last week named him as the world's highest-paid rugby player, claiming he is earning a staggering 200,000 euros ($340,000) per month, mostly from sponsorships and endorsements.

All Blacks great Carter, who brought down the curtain on his stellar test career in November after helping New Zealand defend their World Cup title, is in the first year of a three-year deal with Paris club Racing 92 worth a reported $3 million a season.

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Linking up with Toulon's billionaire owner Mourad Boudjellal - who is unafraid to splash the cash in his efforts to draw top-class players to the Top 14 club - would further cement Goromaru's position on rugby's rich list.

The Queensland rugby union, however, say their star signing is going nowhere. On Monday a QRU spokesperson said the reports coming out of France were not true.

Bumped out of top spot: All Blacks great Dan Carter.
Bumped out of top spot: All Blacks great Dan Carter. Photo: Getty Images

Former All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Tom Taylor are just two of several internationals contracted to the club, along with Wallabies Quade Cooper, James O'Connor, Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell.

It comes after the Reds confirmed reigning club best and fairest Liam Gill is also off to France next year.

Toulon is understood to be Gill's destination, but the fringe Wallabies flanker has told teammates he wants to return to Ballymore before the end of his career.

Stuff.co.nz, AAP

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