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All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga officially signs to Japanese club rugby

All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga is heading to Japanese club rugby after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, signing with Toshiba Brave Lupus.

All Blacks playmaker Richie Mo’unga is to join Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus from Super Rugby side the Crusaders after next year’s Rugby World Cup. Toshiba announced the move, saying Mo’unga would be joined by Highlanders and All Blacks flanker Shannon Frizell at the club, who are coached by ex-New Zealand captain Todd Blackadder.

Reports in New Zealand media stated 28-12 months-vintage Mo’unga, who has 44 All Blacks caps, signed a 3-12 months cope with Toshiba. Under New Zealand Rugby guidelines, Mo’unga and Frizell will now not be eligible to play for the All Blacks whilst in Japan. The duo are set to sign up for the membership after the 2023 World Cup in France.

All Blacks

All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga officially signs in Japan

All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga has signed a three-year deal with Japanese club Toshiba from 2024.

The Crusaders pivot will also be joined by Highlanders and All Blacks flanker Shannon Frizell.

Their signings were announced on Monday by Toshiba.

Under current NZ Rugby rules, Mo’unga and Frizell will not be eligible to play for the All Blacks while in Japan.

Attractive salaries in Japan are a tempting lure for All Blacks.

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Mo’unga’s great rival for the All Blacks’ No 10 jersey – Beauden Barrett – reportedly earned $1.5 million for his one-season sabbatical with Suntory Sungoliath in 2020 and former Wallabies lock Rory Arnold is believed to be on the same rate with the Hino Red Dolphins.

Frizell, 28, has made 25 appearances for the All Blacks on the grounds that making his debut in 2018.

Mo’unga, who played ninety four games for the Crusaders and scored greater than one thousand points, stated he turned into searching forward to experiencing rugby with an distant places team.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity and to be part of the Lupus own family I plan on doing the whole thing I can to make Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo the primary team in Japan,” he said in the media release.

“It’s a dream of mine to play rugby foreign places and to revel in a exceptional tradition and I realize this could be an extremely good experience for my circle of relatives.”

Mo’unga may be joining some acquainted faces – ex-Crusaders Matt Todd, Tom Taylor, Seta Tamanivalu and Jack Stratton are on Toshiba’s books, at the side of New Zealand-born Japan test lock Warner Dearns and Christchurch-raised former Japan flanker Michael Leitch.

Mo’unga, 28, has 44 All Blacks caps due to the fact making his debut in 2017 and has played ninety four Super Rugby video games for the Crusaders and fifty one appearances for Canterbury.

Before pronouncing sayonara to Christchurch, he remains determined to spearhead the Crusaders to a file-extending seventh consecutive Super Rugby identify in 2023.

The Crusaders were my lifestyles all the time, even earlier than I joined the crew it was my lifestyles, dreaming of being part of the family,” Mo’unga stated on Monday.

“Looking again at my time with the team due to the fact 2015, it makes me so thankful to be a part of this sort of franchise, part of some certainly exquisite reminiscences, a few fantastic achievements and wonderful moments, and to simply meet some surely unique people.

My energy going into this season is no different to any other, I’m here to give my everything. I still want to perform, to do the best for the Crusaders, our members and our fans. There’s still a heck of a job to do before I leave.”

Mo’unga made his professional rugby debut in 2013 for Canterbury and will be entering his ninth season for the Crusaders.

He has scored 1053 Super Rugby points and has continued the proud tradition of quality Crusaders No 10s, following Andrew Mehrtens and Dan Carter.

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