The winger of the Springbok Makazole Mapimpi will join the Japanese NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes team for the upcoming season from September 2020 to April 2021. Rugby fans can book British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The hurricanes, which are trained by South African Johan Ackermann, had initially attempted to land Mapimpi during the transfer window in a permanent deal in a movement of large sums of money with a net worth of more than R9 million.

Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi will join red hurricanes on the Japanese side
Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi will join red hurricanes on the Japanese side

However, the winner of the Rugby World Cup signed a contract extension until 2023 allowing him to take a gap year in Japan while increasing his earning potential. It also sees him retain a spot in the Cell C Sharks and keeps him in the crosshairs of selectors for the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour.

The 29-year-old said the original Japanese offer was for one year, but that he couldn’t leave for a year without knowing what would happen to his future thereafter.

“I’m not saying that I don’t trust myself to make or find a new home, but I can’t leave a place where I was well cared for just because I see bigger deals elsewhere,” Mapimpi told local publication Sport24.

Makazole Mapimpi

Mapimpi credits Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee for a favorable outcome in the negotiations for both the club and the player at a time when South African rugby seemed to be in a vulnerable position to retain their best talent, especially the RWC winners.

“I had to sit down and talk to the relevant people and they gave me the opportunity to quickly go there and earn some money for myself.”

Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi will join red hurricanes on the Japanese side
Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi will join red hurricanes on the Japanese side

Mapimpi, like several South African players abroad, hopes to play on the Lions’ upcoming tour next year, describing him as their most epic goal.

“Obviously, it will be up to the coaches, but I feel like I could still get to the Bok team for the British and Irish Lions tour.”

Mapimpi, the first South African to score a try in a RWC final, made his Super Rugby debut in 2017 and has accumulated a total of 100 points in 46 appearances.

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