Kazuki Himeno, also known as 姫野 和樹 (Himeno Kazuki), is a Japanese rugby union player who represents the national team as a Loose forward or Lock. He is currently a member of the Highlanders in Super Rugby and also plays for Toyota Verblitz in Japan's Top League.
Himeno's rise to the international scene was rapid, with him receiving his first call-up to Japan's senior squad for the 2017 end-of-year rugby union internationals after just nine appearances for Toyota Verblitz in the Top League. Although he initially started his career in the second row, Himeno transitioned to the back row as his game developed.
In November 2017, Himeno made his test debut against Australia, playing in the second row. He scored his first international try in that match. Throughout 2019, Himeno solidified his place as a regular starter for Japan, featuring in all four of their pool phase matches at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, including their historic first-ever quarter-final appearance.
During the Rugby World Cup, Himeno's performances were outstanding, particularly in Japan's victories over Scotland and Ireland, which propelled them to the top of their group. By the end of the tournament, he had amassed 17 test caps and gained recognition as one of the standout stars.
In 2021, Himeno signed a Super Rugby contract with the Highlanders, joining the New Zealand-based team. Prior to this, he had accumulated 11 Super Rugby caps for the Sunwolves, scoring two tries during the 2018 season.
Known for his power and versatility as a forward, Kazuki Himeno has quickly made a name for himself in Japanese rugby and has become an integral part of both his club and the national team's success.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Himeno has been named in the training squad for Japan.
|2017 - present
|2017 - present
|2023 - present
|2021 - 2021
No 4 Lock
|2018 - 2023