Blues lose Nacewa to Leinster


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Auckland Blues utility back Isa Nacewa is joining the exodus of New Zealand players to Europe and will play for Irish club Leinster from next season.

“I really enjoy playing for the Blues and Auckland but am very aware I have to make the most of my playing career while I can,” Nacewa said in a statement Tuesday.

“All of us in this game know it is for a finite time-period so it really comes down to making smart decisions short and long-term.”

The 25-year-old’s New Zealand contractual obligations will end at the end of the current Super 14 season for the Blues next month.

He is considered one of the most talented and versatile backs playing in New Zealand but his route to the All Blacks has been blocked by a brief appearance for Fiji at the 2003 World Cup.

Nacewa was unaware at the time that international rules only allow a player to appear for one country in their career.

But Nacewa, who has played in almost every backline position, said he still hoped he would one day be able to play for the All Blacks.

Blues’ coach David Nucifora said he was not surprised by news of Nacewa’s departure.

“His authority and leadership within this squad is exemplary and Leinster is very fortunate to have him,” he said.

Nacewa has appeared 40 times for the Blues and 54 for times for the Auckland provincial team.

Sapa-AFP –   

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