VIDEO: Another All Black takes up Japan 'sabbatical'
TRANSFER NEWS: Another All Blacks has taken up an option for a sabbatical in Japan.
New Zealand scrumhalf Thomas Perenara will miss next year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa to play in Japan, the Hurricanes confirmed Monday.
Perenara, 28, will swap the Hurricanes for the Osaka-based Red Hurricanes.
“It doesn’t mean it’s the end for me [in New Zealand],” Perenara said in a video on the Wellington-based Hurricanes’ social media channels.
“I’m looking forward to an exciting challenge over in Japan – with a new group of players, a new coaching group and I’m really excited about that adventure for myself and my family,” the 66-Test back added.
New Zealand Rugby performance manager Chris Lendrum said Perenara was leading with his organisation’s blessing and it looked forward to welcoming him back after the stint in Japan.
“Thomas has been a long-standing and loyal player for New Zealand Rugby for a decade now and so the opportunity for him to have a break from playing here to have the experience of playing in Japan is a positive for him and his family,” he said.
Lendrum said NZRU would start contract discussions with Perenara’s management in due course, regarding his return to New Zealand.
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland said while Perenara would be missed, he went with the blessings of the Hurricanes organisation.
“Thomas has been the heart and soul of this team for many years, however, I’m sure he has not played his last game in the Hurricanes jersey. We all wish him well.”
Holland says the departure will open doors for others in the squad.
“We’re really lucky to have two quality halfbacks already in our environment.
“The loss of senior players creates exciting opportunities for others, and we look forward to watching Jamie Booth and Jonathan Taumateine thrive.”