Rugby Union

New Zealand exodus intensfies

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Cory Jane is just one of 12 New Zealanders leaving next season (©GettyImages)
Cory Jane is just one of 12 New Zealanders leaving next season (©GettyImages).

New Zealand's domestic sides can only watch as the trickle of Kiwi talent draining away from Super Rugby becomes a torrent. 

A dozen players have already confirmed that they will leave Super Rugby next season and several others may soon follow.

The world champions rarely fail to assert their dominance on the pitch, but off of it, they are seriously struggling to compete with the lucrative contracts European and Japanese clubs are using to lure players away from the Southern Hemisphere.

Mils Muliaina, who won 100 caps for the All Blacks, has joined Connacht, Zac Guilford has signed for Clermont, Corey Flyn has agreed a deal with Toulouse and Jarrad Hoeata recently confirmed that he will be join the Cardiff Blues next season.

Andre Taylor, Jackson Willison, Bundee Aki, Alipati Leuia, Tyler Bleyendaal, Chris Noakes, Jack Lama, and Tom McCartney have also joined the exodus.

Benji Marshall was unable to master the complexities of the 15-man game and has returned to rugby league, while there are growing concerns over the futures of Andy Ellis and Waikato Chiefs trio Tanerau Latimer, Ben Tameifuna and Gareth Anscombe, who have all been linked with moves away from New Zealand.  

The fickle nature of a short career in rugby union means many players will struggle to turn down these sizeable foreign contracts. But those who want to pursue an international career in New Zealand must sign a central contract with the The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).

The NZRU have secured the signatures of an array of world class All Blacks and they will certainly assemble a formidable squad to defend their title in next year's World Cup.

But these are ominous times for the All Blacks. Younger players, who are unable to break their way into the national squad refuse to wait around. Players like 23-year-old Bleyendaal. The 2010 Junior All Blacks captain has agreed to join Munster on a three-year deal.

If the NRZU are unable to stymie this player drain, then there will be very little underpinning an ageing All Blacks outfit.

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Topics:
Rugby Union
New Zeland Rugby
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