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.
Kikutani at a press conference during the 2011 Rugby World Cup
|Date of birth||24 February 1980|
|Height||187 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||106 kg (16 st 10 lb)|
|School||Imperial Palace Technical High School|
|University||Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences|
|Rugby union career|
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. He established himself in the side through 2006 but was ruled out of the 2007 Rugby World Cup with a knee injury.
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. He dropped off the international scene in 2014.
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. He left the club in December 2013 to join Saracens on a training contract, before returning to Japan with the Canon Eagles.
- "Japan v Spain at Tokyo".
- "Japanese rugby stuck in 1950s: Jones".
- "Statsguru / Test matches / Player records".
- "個人表彰 2009-10". Archived from the original on 2 June 2012.
- "個人表彰 2012-13". Archived from the original on 11 May 2013.
- "Saracens sign Japan number eight Takashi Kikutani from Toyota Verblitz in Japan". ESPN scrum. 11 December 2013.
- Toyota Verblitz profile (in Japanese)