All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga in talks to leave Japan early

Wanted man.

Richie Mo’unga’s time in Japan may be short-lived with the All Blacks superstar already in talks over a potential exit from his contract.

The talented playmaker signed a three-year deal with Toshiba Brave Lupus following the 2023 Rugby World Cup, but new All Blacks boss Scott Robertson has made it clear he wants him to remain part of his plans.

New Zealand Rugby will not pick players based overseas, with Robertson suggesting they make an exception for one of their star players, but it appears the union are going to go one better, confirming they are in talks to bring him back early.

Robertson visited the fly-half, who is currently tearing it up in Japan, and NZR general manager of professional rugby, Chris Lendrum, has confirmed talks are underway.

“It’s no secret New Zealand Rugby were sorry to see Richie leave at the time he did and we would like him back,” Lendrum told Rugby Direct.

“You can imagine we’ve been talking to Richie, and others, while they’re offshore.

“Plan A is to get him back on a full-time contract as soon as we can. That involves working with his agent.”

In terms of the logistics, Lendrum confirmed Mo’unga himself wants to come home and they will work with his agent to sort out the fact that he is currently contracted to Toshiba Brave Lupus.

“That’s a contractual matter and we work through that with his agent and him,” Lendrum added.

“I know Richie would love to pull on the black jersey again. We have to see when that can be. Then you work back from there.

“The fundamental is a player is committed, wants to play for the All Blacks, wants to be back in New Zealand, otherwise we’re talking about picking All Blacks from offshore – which is not in the plans.”

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