World Cup-winning All Black to join Pau
TRANSFER NEWS: The steady stream of All Blacks heading for the exit door is not dissipating.
New Zealand backline star Ben Smith is the latest to be linked to a departure from his home country.
He will join Pau after next year’s World Cup, the club’s president told French broadcaster RMC Sport on Tuesday.
Smith lifted the Webb Ellis trophy in 2015 and the 32-year-old has featured on 76 occasions for his country, scoring 33 tries since making his international debut in 2009.
He will move to an unnamed Japanese club after finishing the 2020 Top 14 season and will be unable to feature for his national side while playing outside of New Zealand.
“It’s a great satisfaction. He will have an impact on the squad and considering his calibre it will allow him to help our youngsters,” Bernard Pontneau said.
On the other hand, New Zealand back row forward Ardie Savea will not join the club, who sit in 11th place in the table, despite originally agreeing on a three-year deal.
The 36-time All Black has decided to re-sign with the New Zealand Rugby Union.
His brother Julian plays for Toulon in France’s top tier.