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Chiefs playmaker Kaleb Trask heading to Japan

By Tom Vinicombe
Kaleb Trask. (Photo by Jeremy Ward/Photosport)

Chiefs playmaker Kaleb Trask will head to Japan following the NPC to link up with Mie Heat for the 2022-23 Rugby League One season.

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23-year-old Trask made his first appearance for the Chiefs during the 2020 Super Rugby season, earning 13 caps throughout his debut campaign, including seven in the No 10 jersey.

Injuries have not been kind to the young playmaker over the past two seasons, however Trask has still managed to clock up 14 more appearances in Chiefs colours, both at first five-eighth and fullback.

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Despite his regular opportunities for minutes, Trask has found himself competing for minutes with the likes of Aaron Cruden, Bryn Gatland, Damian McKenzie and, in 2022, Josh Ioane.

With McKenzie returning to the Chiefs for their upcoming campaign and Gatland, Ioane and 22-year-old Rivez Reihana all on the books, Trask has evidently decided that starting opportunities will again be hard to come by and understandably made the call to head to Japan.

ā€œIā€™m very excited to join Mie Honda Heat for the 2022-23 season,” said Trask of the move. “I am really looking forward to a new experience with new teammates and hoping to continue to grow as a player.

“I am hoping to meet all the rugby fans in Japan so I hope to see you all soon.ā€

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The Heat finished second in last season’s second division of the new Japan Rugby League One competition. While they were able to grab one win in their promotion/relegation play-off with the Green Rockets, they lost the overall series and remain in the second tier for the coming campaign.

Trask won’t be the only new blood on the books for the Heat with Argentina’s Pablo Matera and Australia’s Tom Banks both joining the side for 2022-23.

Trask is currently in the midst of an NPC season with Bay of Plenty, with the Steamers eyeing up a first top-flight title since they won the inaugural competition way back in 1976.

Trask has notched up over 30 appearances for Bay of Plenty and also previously represented the New Zealand Under 20s and Maori All Blacks.

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The upcoming JRLO season is set to kick off in mid-December.

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