Sunday 20 October 2019

All Black Read eyes move abroad

All Blacks captain Kieran Read. Photo: Getty
All Blacks captain Kieran Read. Photo: Getty
David Kelly

David Kelly

All Blacks' captain Kieran Read has confirmed the news that many eager club owners have been anticipating for weeks - he will quit international rugby after the 2019 World Cup and seek a move abroad.

Simon Zebo's Racing 92 have long seemed to be the favourites to nab the 33-year-old's signature for next season, while several English clubs have been sniffing around to unfurl deals potentially soaring beyond €1m annually.

However, it may be more than likely that Read will emulate his predecessor Dan Carter by joining Japan's Kobe Steelers - but omit the Parisien stop-off.

"As a family it will be a good opportunity," the flanker told a New Zealand radio station.

"My wife and kids have made a lot of sacrifices over the years I've been playing. It's probably the hardest thing. Spending more time with them would be cool."

Read reflected on a frustrating, injury-plagued 2018 during the wide-ranging interview after a campaign that also saw high-profile reverses against Ireland and South Africa as pressure mounts on the side to successfully defend their World Cup crown.

Meanwhile, Wales international and Ospreys prop Paul James has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 36 after failing to recover from two shoulder operations.

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