All Blacks flyhalf Mo’unga heading to Japan

December 26, 2022 GMT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All Blacks flyhalf Richie Mo’unga will walk away from international rugby after next year’s World Cup to take up a “life-changing” contract in Japan.

Mo’unga has signed a three-year deal with Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo beginning in 2024 and reportedly worth up to $2 million a season, making him one of the world’s highest-paid rugby players. While based overseas he will not be eligible for All Blacks selection.

Mo’unga will be 29 next year, potentially with several years of international rugby ahead of him. But he said he could not refuse the opportunity offered by Toshiba.

“It’s a touchy thing when people are going overseas but you can’t hide away from the fact it’s life-changing for me and my family,” Mo’unga told the New Zealand Herald. “My job as a father and a husband is to provide for my family and put them first in decisions. That’s basically what I’m doing.”

Mo’unga has played 44 tests for New Zealand and took over from Beauden Barrett last season as the starter in the No. 10 jersey.


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