Rugby-All Blacks loose forward Ioane confirms Japan move


  • Rugby
  • Monday, 10 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby Championship - South Africa v New Zealand - Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela, South Africa - August 6, 2022 New Zealand's Akira Ioane in action with South Africa's Siya Kolisi REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

(Reuters) - New Zealand loose forward Akira Ioane has taken up an offer to play in Japan after the Super Rugby Pacific season, leaving the Auckland Blues without their starting blindside flanker from 2025.

The 21-test All Black confirmed the move on the Blues’ social media channels without disclosing which team he would be playing for.

"It’s not just me and my partner I have to worry about, it’s making sure I have the means to look after my family," said Tokyo-born Ioane.

"That was part of the decision to head over to Japan and make the most of what I think is the back end of my career."

Ioane, who will turn 29 this week, is set to play in the Blues' Super Rugby Pacific semi-final against the ACT Brumbies on Friday at Eden Park.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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