England centre joins Blues for Super Rugby season

England overturned a half-time deficit to beat Japan at Twickenham last November

England overturned a half-time deficit to beat Japan at Twickenham last November

The Auckland club announced this morning they'd acquirred the services of the 23-year-old for next season as part of his new deal with English club, Harlequins.

New Zealand's 146 was set up by Martin Guptill (50) and Colin Munro (46) with a flying start, reaching 50 in just 16 deliveries on their way to an 83-run opening stand.

MacDonald said: "New Zealand has developed innovative ways to retain and invigorate our best talent, and sabbatical clauses have become one of those tools to retain our best talent long-term".

Blues back Harry Plummer and high performance manager Tony Hanks have spent time with Harlequins.

"We pride ourselves at the club at treating people as individuals and helping them be the best version of themselves. Joe has had a long-standing ambition to play Super Rugby and with our strong connection with NZ rugby we are pleased we can help facilitate this ambition".




Meanwhile, Harlequins' head of rugby Paul Gustard is confident that the experience of playing for Blues in Super Rugby will greatly benefit Marchant.

The 1.83 metre, 95kg Marchant has played 85 times for Harlequins and scored 30 tries.

Cruden, 30, played 50 tests for New Zealand and more than 80 matches for the Chiefs, winning two Super Rugby titles, before moving overseas in 2017. "I am sure that I will discover a great deal and I won't be able to wait around to convey my learnings back to the club".

The centre performed in three of England's warm-up matches forward of the World Cup, but was not component of the 31-man squad that arrived at the remaining in Japan.

The Blues have been hit by departures with SBW heading to the Toronto league club, Nonu joining the San Diego team, Clarke being part of the sevens programme and Nanai signing for Worcester Warriors.

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