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03 March 2024

Rugby-All Blacks flyhalf Mo'unga to join Japanese club Toshiba from 2024

By Reuters

New Zealand flyhalf Richie Mo'unga will join Toshiba Brave Lupus from Super Rugby side Canterbury Crusaders following the 2023 season, the Japanese club said on Monday.

Toshiba also said Mo'unga would be joined by Otago Highlanders and All Blacks flanker Shannon Frizell at the club, who are coached by ex-New Zealand captain Todd Blackadder.

Reports in New Zealand media said 28-year-old Mo'unga, who has 44 All Blacks caps, had signed a three-year deal with Toshiba.

Under New Zealand Rugby rules, Mo'unga and Frizell will not be eligible to play for the All Blacks while in Japan. The duo are set to join the club after next year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Frizell, 28, has made 25 appearances for the All Blacks since making his debut in 2018.

Mo'unga, who played 94 games for the Crusaders and scored more than 1,000 points, said he was looking forward to experiencing rugby with an overseas team.

"I'm grateful for this opportunity and to be part of the Lupus family I plan on doing everything I can to make Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo the number one team in Japan," he said in the media release.

"It's a dream of mine to play rugby overseas and to experience a different culture and I know this will be an amazing experience for my family.