Rugby: Kahui to play in Japan

By Greg Taipari

All Black and Chiefs midfielder Richard Kahui's now has an expiry day on his playing time in Super Rugby.

Kahui has announced he will leave New Zealand rugby to play in Japan.

The 27-year-old will play for the Toshiba club for two seasons after the 2013 Investec Super Rugby competition.

"I love being a Chief, but it is no secret that I have had my fair share of injuries which have forced me to make some very hard decisions about my future and make the most of the opportunities while I can," Kahui said.

His career has been racked with injury, especially over the past eight months. The midfielder who began his career in 2006 for the Highlanders, scoring 17 tries, has had to sit on the sideline and watch his Chiefs side win their first Super Rugby title.

His latest injury (a dislocated shoulder) which occurred during their clash with the Reds last year has seen the 104kg centre go under the surgeon's knife once again.

Last week, Kahui had a "clean-up" operation on his shoulder to remove scar tissue. The procedure meant the 17 test All Black, won't be available for the Chiefs' first Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in Dunedin

Chiefs' coach Dave Rennie respected Kahui's decision to leave the Super Rugby franchise.

"Richard has been an outstanding member of the Chiefs family, having played over 50 games for us. He has an opportunity to set himself up for his future and we are fully supportive of what he is doing and hope to get him back for 2015."

Kahui made his debut for the All Blacks in 2008 and has scored 10 tries. He told The Daily Post the latest injury had been frustrating but he was keen to help his side go back-to-back before he left.

"I felt like last year was probably the first year I played decent rugby for the Chiefs during the Super Season so it was pretty disappointing the way it ended. I'd just really love to get a good start."

The Chiefs head to Mangatainoka to play the Hurricanes tomorrow in their last pre-season fixture. They play the Highlanders in Dunedin on February 22 in the opening round of Super Rugby.

- Hamilton News

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