Rugby: Boric and May sign with Japanese clubs

Blues lock Anthony Boric and Hurricanes prop Ben May are the latest top-level New Zealand players heading to play in Japan.

May will leave New Zealand after the Super Rugby season to join Sanix on the two-year contract and Boric has penned a two-year deal with the Mitsubishi DynaBoars.

It comes on the back of news last week of one test All Black Lelia Masaga signing with the Honda club while centre Richard Kahui confirmed earlier in the year that he'll leave New Zealand to play for Toshiba.

All Black loose forward Adam Thomson has also signed a two year deal with the Canon Eagles.

Japan is increasingly becoming a good option for New Zealand players, where the level of rugby is less physical but the financial rewards enticing. Boric, who has played 24 tests for the All Blacks, has recently returned from a serious neck injury which kept him out of the game for nearly a year.

It's not all one way, with former All Black Mose Tuiali'i, Tamati Ellison, Brad Thorn, Jake Paringatai and Neil Brew all joining the Highlanders this season out of the Japanese league.

"I'm really looking forward to this next step in my career,'' May said. "When I signed on to the Canes I knew it would be my last stint in New Zealand. Coming to Wellington was a fresh challenge and I have enjoyed every minute, but it's not over yet. My focus is completely with the Hurricanes and making sure this season we go a step better than last year.''

The versatile prop forward has made a huge impact with the Hurricanes since joining the team in 2012. May reached the milestone of 50 Super Rugby caps last year after representing the Crusaders, Chiefs and now Hurricanes.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said they would miss May's experience and leadership.

"Ben is a real team man. Both on the field and off the field, his commitment to the team is admirable. Ben joined the team willing to take a leadership role in the front row and help guide our younger players through their first Super Rugby season. I know the advice and encouragement he gave to those players was huge in the way they played last year.''

- APNZ

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