Newby joins exodus and heads for Leicester



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Highlanders and Otago captain Craig Newby has confirmed he will be leaving New Zealand at the end of the year to join the Leicester club in England.

Newby, 28, first played for the Highlanders as a draft player in 2002 and subsequently transferred to Otago, making his debut for the province as captain in 2005 against the British & Irish Lions.

He will play his 66th game for the Highlanders at Carisbrook on Saturday when they take on the Blues, which Newby played for in seven games in 2001.

‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Highlanders and Otago and living in Dunedin but I’m now at a stage where I need to secure my future overseas,’ he said.

Newby made his All Blacks debut against England in Auckland in 2004 and played two more Tests ‘ against South Africa in Johannesburg in the same year and Ireland in Auckland in 2006. He is also a former New Zealand Sevens representative and was a member of the unbeaten Junior All Blacks side in 2005.

At provincial level, Newby played 19 games for Otago and is contracted to the province for this year’s Air New Zealand Cup. Other teams he previously played for include North Harbour and English club side Newcastle.

Otago Rugby Football Union Chief Executive, Richard Reid, said he would be sorry to see Newby go but accepted that the overseas option was a fact of modern rugby life.

‘We wish Craig all the best,’ Reid said.

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said Newby had given outstanding service to rugby in New Zealand.

‘Craig is a great servant of the game and a player who has made a massive contribution to rugby on and off the field. We wish him well as he prepares for a new challenge,’ Sorensen said.


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