All Blacks loose forward Liam Squire is preparing to play his last season in New Zealand before a move to a Japanese club.

According to a report from Stuff, the Highlanders player has kept New Zealand Rugby informed of his impending move to the unnamed club, which has probably been negotiated now before what will inevitably be a post-World Cup rush of international players flooding the open market.

Hand injuries have restricted the 27-year-old's appearances for the All Blacks to 23 caps. At his best he is a bruising defender and ball-carrier but the nature of his preferred game has taken its toll physically.

"The body took a hiding last year," Squire told Stuff recently. "The way I like to play it's the risk I take. I spent the off-season trying to get the body ready to take those hits and play the style I want to."


The Japanese club scene is far less demanding and allowed former enforcer Jerome Kaino to cash in financially and recuperate physically after the 2011 World Cup before returning to the international scene.

It's possible Squire is hoping for a similar scenario. The Highlanders are well served for loose forwards, with All Blacks Jackson Hemopo, Shannon Frizell and Luke Whitelock effectively vying for Squire for two positions.

Hurricanes player Vaea Fifita is also in the mix at No6 for the All Blacks, while Crusaders loosie Jordan Taufua is aiming to make the World Cup squad before leaving to Leicester.