With the news one of New Zealand's most versatile athletes has accepted a big money offer to head overseas, it's a reminder that the pull of the All Blacks jersey is waning.
All Blacks campaigner Sonny Bill Williams yesterday confirmed a two-year deal with the Canada-based Toronto Wolfpack rugby league club, which plays in the UK Super League competition, reportedly worth up to $10 million.
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Funded by Australian mining billionaire David Argyle, the Wolfpack lured the two-time Rugby World Cup winner back to league in what was a major scalp for the team which had been promoted from the second-tier Championship.
First of all, it's a great move for 34-year-old SBW who, just like any other professional athlete, isn't getting any younger and even though I'm sure his sporting pursuits have given him a healthy paycheck after all these years, $10 million surely can't hurt the back pocket.
For the Wolfpack, it's a great move on a number of fronts. As we all know, SBW is tremendously talented whether be in union or league, and his experience and game knowledge will have untold benefits for the players he lines up with and goes up against.
But it's also his impact off the field which will be great for the game in the northern hemisphere. SBW is almost the perfect role model when you see how he shows his religious beliefs and also through his interactions with fans and media.
While the Wolfpack's gain might not be the All Blacks' loss, as SBW was always on the way out after this year's World Cup in Japan, it does reaffirm the belief building in the last five years that the pull of the All Blacks jersey has developed some very strong competition.
We have seen numerous players over the years, chief among them former Blues star Charles Piutau, pursue opportunities in Europe instead of hoping for a position in the All Blacks squad.
But now Europe is not the only continent New Zealand needs to worry about. It was only a month ago when All Blacks legend Ma'a Nonu signed with the San Diego Legion to play in the Major League Rugby competition in the United States.
Now SBW has joined his former teammate in North America, it signifies the increasing options local players face, especially those who might not consider themselves All Blacks shoo-ins in the near future.
Granted, SBW and Nonu are at the end of their careers and are more likely to board a plane and play in a smaller competition to secure their financial futures. However, the growth of American sport knows no bounds and it might not be long until we see All Blacks prospects handing back the black jersey for the stars and stripes.
All we need to do is look at the Major League Soccer competition in the United States. Started in 1996, one of the first big scalps for them was David Beckham, who signed for the LA Galaxy in 2007.
Now, with the more recent additions of footballing legends Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the competition is gaining momentum and has grown from just 13 teams in 2007 to 24 in 2019.
It may take some time but as soon as the money builds in United States rugby, the All Blacks coaches may have a few less players to chose from than they do now.