De Allende not returning to Japan

Date published: November 16 2016

Springbok centre Damian de Allende has revealed that he will not be returning to Japan to play club rugby later this year.

De Allende has been a shadow of the player he was in 2015 and he believes that not having an off-season last year contributed to his drop in form in 2016.

The 24-year-old sustained a serious ankle injury, during his stint with Kintetsu Liners in Japan's Top League, and hardly set the world alight upon his return for the Stormers and Springboks.

“Playing in Japan did work against me a little‚” said De Allende.

“After the World Cup I only had four days off before flying out to Japan and starting my season there. I didn’t get any rest‚ which was tough on the body‚ but in saying that I really enjoyed my time in Japan and I hope to go back one day.

“The club‚ Kintetsu Liners‚ looked after me very well‚ but I won’t be going back for the next two years."

He added: "I would benefit from an off-season‚ which is why I won’t go back right now.

“It’s been hard and I probably underestimated how tough it would be coming back from a big injury. As I’ve progressed through the year I feel a lot more confident and positive than I was during the Rugby Championship.

"My game is based on confidence and on this tour I feel a lot more relaxed. I was putting too much stress on myself during the Championship. My fitness is better which has helped the confidence. By having more game time I’ve got sharper but when I was left out of some Rugby Championships games I deserved it.”