Richie Mo’unga: All Blacks star seeks overseas move after Rugby World Cup

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga has revealed that he will seek opportunities away from New Zealand following the 2023 World Cup.

The Crusaders star has signed a new one-year contract which will keep him tied to New Zealand Rugby until the end of the global tournament.

Mo’unga admitted that the World Cup is the big target but after that he may seek to take his talents abroad, with Japan a likely destination.

Experiencing a new culture

“That’s definitely what I’m thinking,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

“Another reason for the one-year sign on with NZ Rugby was allowing myself to have a look at opportunities overseas and seeing what somewhere like Japan has to offer and keeping my options open, whether that’s one or two seasons over there, and possibly coming back to New Zealand and hopefully play for the Crusaders and All Blacks.

“I want to experience another culture with my family. Taking my wife and kids to Japan would be awesome to experience something different and another style of rugby.

“I’ve been at the Crusaders and Canterbury since I started my professional career so I’m looking to experience something different.”

Japan has been a popular country for current and former All Blacks to ply their trade, taking over from France as the most attractive proposition.

The lucrative financial package and lesser physical impact on the body, allied by its closeness to New Zealand in comparison to Europe, means that players are preferring the Japanese competition over the Top 14 and Champions Cup.

Beauden Barrett spent a year with Tokyo Sungoliath while Damian McKenzie is currently with the same team and Mo’unga may follow them.

“You look at someone like D-Mac (McKenzie) who has been able to go over there and be a huge influence,” the Crusaders fly-half added.

“It’s quite funny Baz (Barrett) was there the year before and they lost in the final. D-Mac lost in the final, too, so maybe I can take Suntory one better.”

READ MORE: Beauden Barrett expects the Highlanders to throw ‘the kitchen sink’ at the Blues


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