A rugby writer in the UK believes former All Blacks will continue to struggle adapting to northern hemisphere rugby.

A number of All Blacks stars will be off to Europe including Kieran Read and Ben Smith, following the likes of Dan Carter and Julian Savea who have cashed in on more lucrative deals overseas.

While New Zealand players and coaches will always be in demand in the North, rugby writer Paul Rees believes even the best may not adapt to northern hemisphere rugby.

He points to several instances of former All Blacks plying their trade in Europe who have failed to live up to their pricetags.


"The expectation was that Carter would dazzle in the Top 14 as he had for the Crusaders and the All Blacks but the environments were markedly different," Rees wrote in a column for The Guardian.

"They made two European Champions Cup finals in his three years there and won the Top 14 but Carter's influence at a club that included five other former All Blacks was, if not muted, understated."

Dan Carter. Photo / Photosport
Dan Carter. Photo / Photosport

Rees also points to Savea and Lima Sopoaga as examples of All Blacks who have struggled to adapt to the different climate of European rugby.

"The New Zealand wing Julian Savea has failed to make an impact at Toulon this season; all that is gold does not always glitter.

"[Sopoaga] is further proof that it is unwise to expect an instant return from pedigree players when they are exposed to a distinctly different climate."

There have been a few who have bucked the trend, according to Rees, namely former All Blacks and Harlequins first-five Nick Evans.

However, for the most part, New Zealand players are no longer the "golden ticket" for European clubs. The same can be said about Kiwi coaches, says Rees.

"The same applies to coaches. Northampton raised eyebrows last year when they announced Chris Boyd was arriving from the Hurricanes, home of the Barrett brothers. A club that for a decade had been arguably the most structured side in the Premiership had turned into risk-takers.


"New Zealand coaches who join clubs in the Premiership or Top 14 are confronted by something they have not experienced at home – relegation."