The Crusaders fly-half has inked a three-year deal

All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga signs Japanese deal for 2024

Crusaders and All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga will say goodbye to New Zealand rugby in the aftermath of next year’s Rugby World Cup, after signing a three-year deal with Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo, in Japan, from 2024.

The move will mean that – under the All Blacks’ current operating procedures – the playmaker will not be available for selection for the side.  Mo’unga will also be joined in Japan with New Zealand team-mate and Highlanders breakaway, Shannon Frizell.

Of his move, Mo’unga said on the official Crusaders website: “The Crusaders have been my life for ever, even before I joined the team it was my life, dreaming of being part of the family.

“Looking back at my time with the team since 2015, it makes me so grateful to be part of such a franchise, part of some really awesome memories, some great achievements and great moments, and to just meet some really special people.

Mo'unga signs Japanese deal

Mo’unga pulling the strings for the Crusaders (Getty Images)

“My energy going into this season is no different to any other, I’m here to give my everything. I still want to perform, to do the best for the Crusaders, our members and our fans. There’s still a heck of a job to do before I leave.”

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Toshiba are coached by former Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder, and ex-Crusaders Matt Todd, Tom Taylor, Seta Tamanivalu and Jack Stratton are in the side. The team’s most famous face is former Brave Blossoms skipper Michael Leitch.

According to reports in the New Zealand Herald just as Mo’unga signs Japanese deal, he will be paid in the region of NZ$2m (around £1.04m) per season, for his services.

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