Himeno in NZ, in isolation

Japanese loose forward Kazuki Himeno has made it to New Zealand but it may be a wait to see him in action.

Himeno (26) arrived from Japan earlier this week and has gone into isolation for two weeks.

From there he will head south to Dunedin and join the Highlanders.

That will be the week of the opening game of the season against the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 26.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown said Himeno had been training hard and was fit when he left Japan.

Brown admitted Himeno could loss some fitness stuck inside a room for two weeks in isolation. That might lead to him having to do some work to get up to speed when he arrived in Dunedin, he said.

Himeno (26) is an exciting player with a physical style, but he has not played much rugby since the Rugby World Cup in 2019, when he impressed.

The Japan Top League season barely got under way at the start of last year before Covid-19 forced it to be canned. Japan has not played any international games since its exit from the World Cup in 2019.

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