All Black Ryan Crotty has remained coy on whether he will be heading overseas.
It is believed by RugbyPass that the Crusaders centre has already agreed a deal with Japanese Top League side Kubota Spears but he insists that he is in no hurry to discuss a deal.
“No, there’s no rush. Each year, I do it [contract] year-by-year. Once I make a decision, that will be it. But everything always comes on the back of playing well for this team here,” he said.
Crotty who has 132 caps for the Crusaders under his belt claimed he is not looking ahead and is focusing on now.
“I’m not looking too far away. Just trying to stay and live in the moment as best I can, and enjoy what I’m blessed to be able to do,” he said.
It would be no surprise to New Zealand if he did head overseas following the World Cup later this year, but it might be a worry as he is only one of many names reported to have sights on leaving.
Liam Squire announced his departure to the Top League earlier this week while Owen Franks joined Northampton yesterday.
However, the biggest concerns for fans of the world’s number No 1 team will be the fact that Beauden Barrett, Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read have all been linked with moves to Europe or Japan.
In Kieran Read’s case he has spoken about the likelihood off his international retirement post-world cup but the other two would be major losses on the international stage.
It might mean that players such as 36-year-old Ma’a Nonu’s return to the fold might be at the perfect time as he could in fact force his way into the team.
Although the All Blacks have never had a shortage of talent, it would be a real pity if they lost such star names and leaders before they pass on their knowledge to the next generation of heroes.
Saracens Set to Land South African Starlet
Saracens have had their struggles of late but it appears as though despite everything they remain active in the transfer market and are preparing to sign one of South Africa’s brightest stars
With the South African side struggling with cash at the moment, losing a host of their star players in recent times, the English Premiership giants are preparing to swoop in for another, with it believed that the utility forward to sign a five-year contract.
At 22, the forward has been a regular for both the Stormers and Western Province over the past two years and if he does put pen to paper on the deal it would see him become available for England during his career.
The London-based side have had a rough few days being handed a £5.3 million fine and being deducted 35 points in the Premiership for a breach of salary cap rules, but while that is being appealed, the club seem likely to continue their transfer business as usual.
While for Saracens it would be a massive coup to sign Wiese, for the Stormers it would be a huge loss as they have already lost World Cup winners Eben Etzebeth and Damian de Allende, as well as other players such as Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Corne Fourie and EW Viljoen among others due to the current crisis at the franchise.
The Stormers have been struggling through their pre-season so far as a host of their players are on loan abroad and they await the returns of some of their World Cup stars.
They should be boosted by the returns of captain Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Herschel Jantjies, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe and recent World Player of the Year winner Pieter-Steph du Toit, who are all set to come back to the franchise come mid-December.
However, the loss of another player and a rising star could not only be a blow for the club but for the Springboks in the future.
Chiefs Not Concerned by Cruden’s Injury History
The Chiefs are ready to welcome back former All Blacks out-half Aaron Cruden to the franchise and have reiterated that they are not worried by his recent injury catalogue
The 30-year-old fly-half is set to return to the Hamilton-based franchise on a one-year deal, having previously spent six seasons with them and winning two titles before a move to French giants Montpellier.
However, since his move to the Top 14 side the former All Black has picked up a number of injuries, including a calf problem that has caused him to miss large amounts of playing time, but Collins insists that the club are certain he will move to them and remain fit throughout.
“We’ve spoken to Aaron and watched some of his games, and a couple of the injuries he did suffer in France were contact injuries and we always knew he was going to come right. the driver for us was he has such a history with the Chiefs, he’s a world-class first five-eighth, we’ve got some really good young backs coming through and we thought his recruitment would serve two purposes – to help drive the team round the field, and also to be an older voice and someone for those younger players to learn off. know that he’s going to come in fit and healthy, so we thought it’d be better to get his family settled, focus on that, then join the team after the Christmas break,” he said while speaking to Stuff.
Cruden, who won 50 international caps for New Zealand before his switch to Europe, including appearances against the British and Irish Lions, will hope to put his own injury issues aside when he returns in January as his side look to start their campaign on a positive note.
The Chiefs and Cruden kick-off their Super Rugby campaign on January 31st 2020 when they take on the Blues at Eden Park and Collins will be hoping his playmaker will be ready.
SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion
Following their hugely impressive Rugby World Cup performances from Japan SANZAAR are set to not only consider the team’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship but are also to reconsider the Sunwolves future according to reports
Following Japan’s brilliant World Cup campaign where they reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, SANZAAR are apparently set to consider bringing the country into the Rugby Championship to help them develop their game.
The report claims that SANZAAR are set to meet in Tokyo on Friday where they will also discuss the possibility of reintroducing the Sunwolves to Super Rugby.
Speaking to Newshub, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper is hoping that Japan will be able to compete at the highest level and rues the fact that the Nations Championship proposal was shut down.
“Certainly if I was in their shoes I’d be very keen to have Japan in my competition sooner rather than later. That’s entirely their call. We proposed a nations championship that had Japan very much playing at the top table and maybe they’ll see it that way for their own particular championship” he said.
The inclusion of the Sunwolves would be huge for Japan after the franchise failed to agree a new contract with SANZAAR to extend their time in the competition where they have only won eight of 62 games since 2016.
However, considering the success of the national side this tournament it seems only fair that they should be given a chance to continue their development to the top tier and that will only happen if their players are playing against the best week in week out.
The Japanese were unfortunate to go down 26-3 to the Springboks on Saturday in the quarter-finals, but following their incredible performances where they played a fast and exciting style of rugby, earning many fans worldwide, people will hope that this is only the beginning of their rugby story.
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