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Tue, 17 Nov 2009

Yamaha Motor Co. announced Monday that it is cutting the ringers from its company rugby team.

The Yamaha Jubilo rugby club competes in the Top League, the highest level Japanese Rugby Football Union pro league. The team currently sits fifth out of 14 teams with a 3-2-2 record with a roster of 17 professional players including nine non-Japanese imports.

That will change next season however as Yamaha Motors announced on its corporate site the team will only be made up of full-time Yamaha employees as of April 2010. Yamaha made the decision to cut costs after “a careful review of its team management amid the harsh business environment that has developed since 2009.”

According to Reuters, ringers who are also part of Japan’s national team will be offered corporate contracts. It’s not yet known what roles within the company the players will be assigned, but it’s expected Valentino Rossi’s receptionist job and Jorge Lorenzo’s janitor duties are safe.

Money saved from eliminating ringers from Yamaha’s rugby team is expected to fund the next album from WSBK racer James Toseland’s band Crash.

In other news, Suzuki’s three-legged race team is awaiting test results of the B sample after the first test came up positive for human growth hormone while Honda is considering withdrawing from egg toss competition.

[Source: Yamaha, Reuters]

By Dennis Chung

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