Transfers – Aaron Smith (New Zealand / Highlanders) will join Japan after the World Cup (Toyota).

Transfers – Aaron Smith (New Zealand / Highlanders) will join Japan after the World Cup (Toyota).

Aaron Smith will not be a Highlanders player at the end of the season. Half of the New Zealand national team (34; 113 caps) will join Japan and the Toyota Verplets franchise after the 2023 World Cup in France.

Thunderbolt in New Zealand. Aaron Smith will leave the Highlanders at the end of the season to join Japan and Toyota Fairlites. The All Blacks scrum half (34 years, 113 caps) has never left the Otago franchise since its first matches in 2011. 2015 Super Rugby and World Cup winner Aaron Smith has chosen to go into exile in the country of the rising sun, joining his former coach Steve Hansen and champion South African scientist Peter Steve du Toit.

“Since I signed my first contract in 2008 until now, I have lived my dream.”Aaron Smith said. “I was fortunate enough to represent my home with the Manawatū Turbos, helping me fulfill my dream of becoming a super rugby player.”

“I have to say a huge thank you to the Highlanders for their faith in me. I’ve done everything for this team and they’ve always been there for me. Thanks to all the Highlanders players, staff and fans. You’ve given everything and more in the 13 years we’ve been together.”

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