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All Blacks scrumhalf Perenara going to Japan

All Blacks scrumhalf TJ Perenara will join Osaka-based NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in the Japan Top League from early 2021 in a move which may foreshadow the end of his international career.
The 28-year-old Perenara announced his decision on Monday, following New Zealand teammates Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick in taking a one-year “sabbatical” in Japan. He will miss the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa but intends to return to Super Rugby and the All Blacks in 2022.
“It doesn’t mean it’s the end for me,” Perenara said in a video statement. “I’m looking forward to an exciting challenge over in Japan … with a new group of players, a new coaching group and I’m really excited about that adventure for myself and my family.”
Perenara, who has 66 tests, has no deal with New Zealand Rugby beyond 2021 which makes his future hazy. NZR said negotiations with Perenara’s representatives would begin “in due course.”
“TJ has been a longstanding and loyal player for New Zealand Rugby for a decade now and so the opportunity for him to have a break from playing here to have the experience of playing in Japan is a positive for him and his family,” NZR's Chris Lendrum said. “We ... will welcome him back when he returns.”


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