Brodie Retallick joins All Black exodus to Japan

Brodie Retallick joins All Black exodus to Japan

Superstar lock Brodie Retallick is the latest All Blacks player to commit to a Japanese club following the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Following the conclusion of the global showpiece in October, Retallick will link up once again with Kobelco Steelers. The New Zealand veteran also played for the Kobe-based franchise in the 2020-2021 season.

Retallick joins the likes of All Blacks teammates Richie Mo'unga, Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith and Shannon Frizell, all of whom are also heading to the Land of the Rising Sun post-World Cup.

"I would like to thank New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks for the opportunity to represent them over the last 12 years," read a statement from the Chiefs stalwart.

"To play for the All Blacks is and has always been a privilege. The memories and friendships created by playing Test matches all around the world is indescribable and something I will treasure.

"This is still an exciting year ahead for me here in New Zealand and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the fans for their continued support.

"I would also like to thank the Chiefs for giving me the opportunity to represent them and the Waikato region. Coming from outside of the region to Hamilton in 2012 is a decision that has given my family and I endless memories and friendships, both on and off the field, that will last a lifetime.

"I also have to say a big thanks to everyone at Hawke's Bay for giving me a shot in first-class rugby that led to everything I have experienced now."