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Brad Weber confirms Super Rugby exit for 'new challenge in Europe'

By Ned Lester
Brad Weber. (Photo by Jeremy Ward/Photosport)

The 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season is confirmed to be the swan song of another All Black’s rugby career in New Zealand, with Brad Weber confirming he will take up a contract in Europe in 2024.

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The Chiefs halfback is currently leading his hometown team to the best record in the competition and is in hot contention for an All Blacks selection for the Rugby World Cup.

The 32-year-old acknowledges however that the time is right to take his talents north. While Weber didn’t specify his destination, rumours earlier in the year indicated Weber had agreed to join Top 14 club Stade Francais.

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“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm that this season will be my last at the Chiefs, a team that has meant so much to me and my family over the past 10 years,” Weber said in a statement.

“I would have loved to see out my career at the Chiefs, but I am also very excited to try something different, taking on a new challenge in Europe, playing and living abroad.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved at the Chiefs Rugby Club during my time here and all the Chiefs fans who have supported me over the last decade. I’ve genuinely loved every moment.

“I’m not done here just yet though, the goal is to win a championship this season, so I look forward to going out with a bang.”

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Weber’s tenure with the Waikato side began in 2014, he was soon awarded an All Blacks call-up and made his Test debut in 2015 against Samoa. 17 Test appearances later, Weber enjoys a joint captaincy with Sam Cane in the Chiefs’ environment and has proved his leadership capabilities throughout his team’s rise from the club’s worst season to their best.

“Brad has been an integral player and leader in the Chiefs,” Coach Clayton McMillan said in a statement.

“It’s never ideal when you lose players of his calibre, but it’s much easier to accept when they have given everything to the jersey, which Brad has done in spades.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him as a bloke. It’s a fantastic opportunity, and he will go at the end of the season with our full backing.”

In Weber’s absence, the young Cortez Ratima will get his chance to embrace the starting role, after two seasons of mentorship under the veteran Weber.

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