All Blacks Captain Kieran Read Makes Huge Announcement On His Future

Stepping down.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read has announced he will be retiring from international rugby after the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Read will join Japanese club Toyota Verblitz on a one-year contract after the tournament, admitting the time was right to surrender the most high-profile sports position in New Zealand.

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“It was reasonably straightforward,” Read said on the decision to move to Japan.

“There were different options, but, probably, I just really sat down and looked at all the different aspects of making a decision – it really stood out, I guess, in terms of Japan and the Toyota club as well. It offered something pretty unique to be there, and enjoy a slice of Japan life.”

Read had several offers from European club, with Racing 92 believed to have made him a serious offer, but Read chose Japan because of the shorter season and the fact that it’s closer to home.

“With three kids and a family it [Japan] is a lot closer to home,” Read said.

“And for my age, and my body, in terms of the amount of footy you play there compared to Europe and the UK. They are probably the main reasons.”