The Gallagher Chiefs will bid farewell to the 2m tall lock Michael Allardice and utility back Tiaan Falcon as they head offshore to Japan to play for Toyota Verblitz.
The 28-year-old second rower Allardice has been a significant contributor to the Gallagher Chiefs and has grown to become a reliable performer and leader since his 2015 debut against the Highlanders. Allardice has even stood in to captain the Gallagher Chiefs when needed.
Allardice is grateful for the opportunity to have donned the Gallagher Chiefs jersey.
"It has been an absolute privilege for my family and I to be a part of the Chiefs organisation for the past six years. Having had the honour to pull on the jersey and share the field with some of the greats and play in front of such passionate Gallagher Chiefs fans are memories I will cherish for years to come."
"While my family and I are excited to experience the Japanese culture at Toyota Verblitz, we will be forever grateful for the opportunities and lifelong friendships made during our time with the Gallagher Chiefs," said Allardice.
Allardice will be joined by 22-year-old Falcon at Toyota Verblitz. The electrifying utility back debuted for the Gallagher Chiefs in 2018 against the Blues.
Unfortunately, Falcon went through the injury mill in 2019, rupturing his Achilles tendon in pre-season training, which ruled him out of the 2019 Investec Super Rugby season.
Falcon returned to rugby later that year to have a standout season with his Hawke's Bay Mitre 10 Cup side before returning to the Gallagher Chiefs this year.
Falcon was thankful for the time spent with the Gallagher Chiefs.
"Although I didn't get the chance to run out with the team as much as I would have liked, I've really enjoyed the culture at the Chiefs and the friendships I have made in Hamilton over the last three years."
"The opportunity to play in Japan really excites me. It will be great to continue to develop my game while seeing another part of the world," said Falcon.
Chiefs Rugby Club chief executive officer Michael Collins wished Allardice and Falcon all the best for their future endeavours abroad.
"We wish both Michael and Tiaan all the very best in Japan. Michael is a great leader and has demonstrated his leadership having captained the Gallagher Chiefs on several occasions.
"Tiaan has been a great team man, despite having been side-lined with injuries he has been a great contributor off the field."
Allardice has 46 appearances to his name in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey and Falcon has notched up four Gallagher Chiefs appearances to date.