Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru has been cut from the Queensland Reds' 23-man squad for the Super Rugby match against the Crusaders in New Zealand on Friday.
Goromaru, the star of Japan's 2015 World Cup campaign who was expected to become the Reds' starting fullback when he joined in the off-season, was dumped Thursday despite a backline spot opening up when Samu Kerevi was ruled out with an injured left hand. Kerevi had surgery but be available for Wallabies' selection for the three-test England series beginning on June 11.
The 30-year-old Goromaru has struggled to click with the Reds and had been relegated to a bench role behind No.15 Karmichael Hunt, playing just 163 minutes so far this season.
Goromaru has played in 56 tests for Japan and scored 708 points.