Crusaders

Leo’o on his final Crusade

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Crusaders and Junior All Black flanker Johnny Leo’o is on the move.

According to the Crusaders official website, the 28-year-old has confirmed that he will be leaving Canterbury following the second Air New Zealand Cup, having signed a contract to play with the Racing Club in the French second division.

Racing plays in the same league as Toulon, who hosted former All Black skipper Tana Umaga for a brief stint earlier this year.

Leo’o made his debut for the Crusaders against Auckland in 1999, and was in the mix in the unbeaten Crusade of 2002.

Although he has had to bide his time behind All Black skipper Richard McCaw for much of his career with the Crusaders, Leo’o has still featured in the last 26 matches played by the side, including every game thus far on the 12th Crusade.

He played his 46th match for the Crusaders earlier this evening, coming off the bench against the Hurricanes at Jade Stadium.

Leo’o also boasts 66 Canterbury caps and promises to be a key player for the side in the second Air New Zealand Cup prior to his departure for France.

He was recognised at national level last year when he was included in the Junior All Blacks – New Zealand’s second team – for the inaugural Pacific Five Nations tournament.

This allowed him to play against Samoa, for whom he was previously eligible on heritage grounds, during the Junior All Blacks’ run to the title.

Leo’o had previously featured in eight international Sevens tournaments in 2000 and 2001 on the IRB (International Rugby Board) Sevens circuit.

 

365 Digital

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