Ex-All Black Colin Slade has revealed the Japanese Top League will be the next stop in his rugby career after his contract expired at French club Pau. The two-time World Cup winner headed to the Top 14 following his country’s 2015 triumph but his five-season stay is now officially over following last week’s termination of the 2019/20 campaign.
Having been an integral part of the Pau XV during Simon Mannix’s time in charge, Slade’s fortunes were somewhat different under Nicolas Godignon. He started just four league games this season in contrast to last term when he started on 18 occasions, a compulsory lay-off after a third concussion in the space of a year ruling him out of selection over the winter.
The 32-year-old returned to action at the end of February, stepping off the bench versus Montpellier, but no one knew at the time that would be his last appearance for the club due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hunkered down in New Zealand during the pandemic, Slade’s services have been in demand and he has now decided to sign for the Dynaboars, the Japan Top League club based in Kanagawa who had a difficult 2020 season losing five of their six outings before the league was cancelled due to the virus.
In a message on Instagram, Slade said: “#honhasection @sectionpaloisebearnpyrenees. Next stop? @dynaboars #TopLeague.”
Slade’s 21-cap All Blacks career is remembered for how he suffered a tournament-ending groin injury in the 2011 quarter-final versus Argentina after he stepped up to the team following Dan Carter’s similar tournament-ending injury.
He becomes the latest Test level out-half to agree a move to Japan following last Saturday’s announcement that England’s Freddie Burns is joining the Shokki Shuttles for the 2021 season. Burns told RugbyPass: “Things haven’t gone the way I wanted them to at Bath. When I first signed at Bath I definitely saw myself finishing my career out at Bath and winning some trophies, but that isn’t quite how it has panned out.”
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