Mou’nga is expected to leave for Japan after the 2023 World Cup

Rugby Union – Autumn International – Italy v New Zealand – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – November 6, 2021 New Zealand’s Richie Mo’unga before a kick REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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WELLINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) – Richie Mo’unga is likely to leave New Zealand to play rugby in Japan after next year’s World Cup in France, the All Blacks flyhalf said on Tuesday. at the New Zealand Herald.

The 28-year-old, who is vying with two-time World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett for the number 10 black jersey, signed a one-year contract extension with the Canterbury Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby last week.

“I want to experience another culture with my family,” the playmaker told the newspaper.

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“Certainly that’s what I think. Another reason for the year-long commitment to NZ Rugby was to allow me to look at overseas opportunities and see what a place like Japan has to offer. to offer …”

Among the things Japan has to offer are salaries for rugby players that far exceed those in New Zealand and Mo’unga would make himself even more attractive to Japanese clubs if he agreed to join. enroll longer than the usual six months to a year.

“We’ve been waiting for more than two years,” Mo’unga added. “I want to show possible clubs where I’m going that I’m not here for just a year and then leave.

“I want to build something, take a team and work on a few things. I’m ready to invest more than a year and hopefully build on this season.”

Mo’unga is aware that if he moves to Japan for an extended period, he will not be eligible to represent New Zealand for that period.

The father-of-two understands, however, that a rugby player has a limited window to earn sums of money that can transform his life.

“With toddlers, it’s a huge shift in perspective,” he said.

“I do this to have the opportunity to support my family for a long time, even after I finish playing.

“It’s definitely a factor that determines how long I want to stay there – how the family settles in and what the balance is and whether I enjoy the footy.”

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Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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