Japan's Iwabuchi signs for Saracens

Kensuke Iwabuchi yesterday became the first Japanese player to sign for an English club during the professional era when he joined Saracens in time for the new Premiership season.

Kensuke Iwabuchi yesterday became the first Japanese player to sign for an English club during the professional era when he joined Saracens in time for the new Premiership season.

Iwabuchi, known as Kenny, is a fly-half who can also play at full-back and has earned a reputation for electric pace and elusive running. He has 12 international caps and was in the squad for the last World Cup, although he did not play in any of their three games.

However, Iwabuchi displayed the full range of his talents when he played for Cambridge University in last season's varsity match at Twickenham, scoring a try but finishing on the losing side. The Saracens' coaching adviser, Francois Pienaar, said: "Kenny can disturb the best of defences with his running ability."

The 24-year-old Iwabuchi, who studied social and political sciences at university and was interested in going on to study at Harvard, is likely to be used as cover for Saracens' new Australian signing Duncan McRae.

Sale have confirmed the signing of the former Scotland captain Bryan Redpath from under the noses of their Premiership rivals Harlequins.

The 29-year-old Redpath, who has joined from the French club Narbonne, is not the club's only new acquisition. Sale have recruited two New Zealanders, the 23-year-old hooker Norm Rusk, who spent last season at Buccaneers in Ireland, and the second-row forward Scott Lines, 26, who is joining from Taranaki in his home country.

Sale's director of rugby, Adrian Hadley, said: "With the arrival this week of Canadian prop Jon Thiel, we are ready for the new season."

The top English clubs could pocket around £600,000 each over the next three seasons following yesterday's launch of Premier Rugby. The new commercial banner for all 12 Premiership clubs could generate a seven-figure sum in its first year and total more than £7m by 2003, it was announced yesterday.

News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall has become the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing
tv
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin