New Zealand international Richie Monga has signed with Japanese club Toshiba Braves for three seasons.
It is therefore likely that the latter will end his rugby career in Japan, as he himself explained. Extracts:
“I definitely see myself playing here as long as possible, until I retire.”
It is clear that the 29-year-old is no longer prioritizing the All-Blacks by signing in Japan long-term.
Unless there is a change to the rule, anyone who has made 58 caps for the Lions will no longer be able to progress to the national team.
This is not a problem for the New Zealander. Extracts:
“I’m focused on the present, I just want to give everything I can to Toshiba.”
At the same time, he confirms that he will not arrive in Japan after early retirement, as some would like to believe. Extracts:
“I don’t like to use the term sabbatical. It’s not a break for me, it’s not for one year. I’m fully engaged and committed.”
Also joining Japan are New Zealand captain Sam Kane (Tokyo Songoletah) and Ardi Savea (Kobe Steelers), named World Rugby’s 2023 Player of the Year.
But the latter will still be able to apply for the Blacks because they only signed for a few months.