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All Blacks winger decides to leave New Zealand Rugby – report

By Finn Morton
Leicester Fainga’anuku of New Zealand takes the field during the International test Match in the series between the New Zealand All Blacks and Ireland at Eden Park on July 02, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

All Blacks and Crusaders winger Leicester Fainga’anuku is set to head overseas at the end of the year after deciding not to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby.


According to new Zealand website Stuff, the two-Test All Black is expected to sign with Challenge Cup winners Toulon – but has been linked with other French clubs including Lyon and Clermont.

Fainga’anuku joined the Crusaders’ academy when he was just 15-years-old, and later signed a professional deal with the Super Rugby juggernauts ahead of the 2019 season.

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Year after year, week after week, the now 23-year-old hasn’t looked back. Fainga’anuku has been brilliant for both club and country, and would have to be in the mix for this year’s World Cup squad.


Playing on the left wing for the champion Crusaders, Fainga’anuku has been sensational throughout this year’s Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

The utility back is currently equal-first with high flying Chiefs fullback Shaun Stevenson for the most tries scored this season with 10, which included a devastating double against the Brumbies.

It almost goes without saying that if true, this report is a tough blow for both the Crusaders and All Blacks moving forward.


Fainga’anuku has been named the Crusaders Player of the Match three times this season – the most of any player, as seen on the team’s Instagram page.

While it would’ve been incredibly entertaining to see the explosive winger line up alongside rampaging centre Levi Aumua next season, it seems that won’t be happening.


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