Angus Macdonald To Play In Japan Next Year



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Blues and Auckland forward Angus Macdonald will be playing his rugby in Japan next year.

The 26 year-old has signed up with Toyota for two years, so this will be his last season with Auckland.

‘Playing for the Blues and Auckland has been an honour and I will find it very hard to leave those squads. But I am excited about the future and really looking forward to playing and living in Japan,’ says Macdonald.

‘As a player in the professional rugby business, we are fortunate to be offered these opportunities. I think it is important to look ahead and try and make the most of your career and experience different cultures and lifestyles while you have the freedom to do so.’

Auckland coach Pat Lam says Macdonald has become a key leader within the Auckland squad and his attitude, despite some injury setbacks in recent years, has been commendable.

‘Gus is an important contributor to our squad. He is a leader as well as a good player and I wish him well for his venture in Japan.’

Blues coach David Nucifora says he can understand why players such as Macdonald take up these offers.

‘Angus is young, fit, strong and a very good player. He will have a lot to offer in Japan and in this professional era, players just like Gus are grabbing these opportunities with both hands. We’ll miss him in the Blues camp but he goes with our best wishes.’

Blues/Auckland CEO Andy Dalton says while disappointed to lose Macdonald ‘ opportunities like this are very tempting for New Zealand players.

‘Angus has been an important member of the Blues and Auckland teams for several years. Fortunately he is young enough to travel and play overseas, experience a different culture and then hopefully return to us further down the track.’

New Zealand Rugby Union Professional Rugby Manager Neil Sorensen thanked Macdonald for his service to New Zealand rugby.

‘Angus has represented New Zealand from age grade to All Blacks level, following in the footsteps of his dad Hamish. He has worn the black jersey with pride and we would like to thank him for his contribution to the game here. We wish him all the best as he starts a new chapter of his rugby career and will welcome him back when he returns.’

Macdonald will move to Japan early next year.

Career overview:

Auckland ‘ 48 caps (30 pts)

Blues ‘ 43 caps (5 pts)

All Blacks – 2 caps

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