NZ players lured by better deals abroad

2014-04-24 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A number of promising, young Super Rugby players have opted to leave New Zealand for bigger money deals abroad.

According to the Radio New Zealand website, Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor has signed a two-year deal with Japanese club Kintetsu Liners.

He joins team-mates Jarrad Hoeata (lock) and flank Jack Lam, Blues prop Tom McCartney and Chiefs centre Bundee Aki in recently accepting big overseas offers, while former All Black flank Tanerau Latimer is reportedly also heading to Japan next year.

Hoeata, a former All Black lock, last week penned a three-year deal with Welsh club Cardiff.

McCartney and Aki are moving to Irish province Connacht, while Lam is off to English club Bristol.

Hurricanes centre Alapati Leiua signed a deal with London club Wasps before the Super Rugby season, while Blues midfielder Jackson Willison did likewise with French club Grenoble.

South Africa have a similar problem when it comes to players heading abroad.

Last week it was reported that Gio Aplon, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel and Charl McLeod’s departures at the end of the Super Rugby season will bring the total number of Springboks playing overseas to 49.

There are 57 players in this year’s Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup groups who are current or former Springboks.

But this will drop to 48 after this year’s Super Rugby when players like JP Pietersen, Heinrich Brüssow, Peter Grant, Ryan Kankowski and Dewald Potgieter return to Japan. It would see 49 Boks playing abroad, compared to 48 in SA.

The key difference between New Zealand and South Africa though is the fact that the Kiwis opt not to pick any overseas players for the All Blacks.

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