Takashi Kikutani

Takashi Kikutani (菊谷 崇, Kikutani Takashi, born 24 February 1980 in Nara) is a Japanese rugby union player, who plays at number 8 or flanker for Canon Eagles and previously Toyota Verblitz. He also represented Japan at international level, and is the second highest try scorer for a forward of all time.

Takashi Kikutani
Kikutani at a press conference during the 2011 Rugby World Cup
Date of birth (1980-02-24) 24 February 1980
Height187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight106 kg (16 st 10 lb)
SchoolImperial Palace Technical High School
UniversityOsaka University of Health and Sport Sciences
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, Number 8, Lock
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Toyota Verblitz
Canon Eagles
Correct as of 15 January 2017
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2005–2014 Japan 68 (160)
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps

Kikutani first played for the Japan 7s team in 1999 and represented them at the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens before making his debut for Japan in November 2005 against Spain where he scored a try.[1] He established himself in the side through 2006 but was ruled out of the 2007 Rugby World Cup with a knee injury.

After recovering from injury, he returned to the side and took over Takuro Miuchi as captain in November 2008 by coach John Kirwan, and led the side until the end of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

After a disappointing tournament for Japan, he was replaced as captain by Toshiaki Hirose and initially left out the squad altogether by new coach Eddie Jones, but soon returned for the 2012 Pacific Nations Cup, and re-established himself as vice captain to Hirose, and was singled out by Jones as one of the few Japanese players who has the attitude and physicality to be able to "smash" players.[2] He dropped off the international scene in 2014.

Kikutani finished his international career as the second highest try scorer of all time by a forward with 32 tries, with only Diego Ormaechea of Uruguay having scored more.[3]

At domestic level, Kikutani played most of his career at Toyota Verblitz, and has twice been named in Top League team of the season in 2009/10 and 2012/13.[4][5] He left the club in December 2013 to join Saracens on a training contract,[6] before returning to Japan with the Canon Eagles.


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