All Blacks captain Kieran Read to finally reveal post-World Cup plans

All Blacks captain Kieran Read to finally reveal post-World Cup plans”

All Blacks captain Kieran Read announced on Wednesday he will retire from worldwide rugby after this year's World Cup to play for Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.

Hansen has paid tribute to Read, who will attempt to sign off at Test level by winning the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time.

A move to Japan would be a lucrative move for Read, given the timing of the World Cup in Japan means the Top League will have to accommodate two competitions in 2020; this will mean players could be paid twice for doubling their workload within the calendar year. He was appointed captain of the All Blacks after Richie McCaw retired following the 2015 World Cup.

"He's been around for a while and I know his body has taken a good battering so from an global side of things to keep doing that he's obviously decided that the right time is this year and I guess the World Cup makes it an easy end point", McCaw said.

"We want to wish Kieran all the very best for his swansong season in New Zealand rugby", Tew said.

Hansen was unconcerned, however, and said a policy to rest and limit the playing minutes of All Blacks to try and keep them fresh for the World Cup was always going to have an impact.

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But Read maintained the All Blacks' high standards and ensured there was no post-tournament slump, keeping the team's win rate above 85 per cent. Toyota also signed former South Africa assistant coach Gert Smal, adding him to the staff of current head coach Jake White.

Before heading off for the Sept 20-Nov 2 event, Read will also hope to help the Canterbury Crusaders to a third successive Super Rugby title.

"Japan's a bit closer to home than Europe and probably a bit easier on the body as well considering where I'm at in terms of my career", he said. But people have seen Ireland as the top dog after they beat us, and that put a massive amount of expectation on the players and coaches.

Such is his value, he has been granted an extended off-season which won't end until at least round six of Super Rugby.

The 2013 global player of the year has been a world leader among loose forwards since his worldwide debut in 2008.

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