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Josh Ioane becomes the latest All Black to agree move to Ireland

By Josh Raisey
Josh Ioane. (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

Chiefs flyhalf Josh Ioane has become the latest All Black to agree a move to Ireland next season by signing for Connacht.


The 28-year-old follows his former All Blacks teammate Jordie Barrett in moving to the United Rugby Championship, with the centre set to join Leinster at the end of the calendar year.

Ioane, in contrast, will join Connacht ahead of next season, bringing his three-year stint with the Chiefs in Super Rugby Pacific to an end. He will provide cover for the injured JJ Hanrahan, who injured his ACL in May.

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The versatile back played alongside Barrett in his sole Test for the All Blacks, where he scored eight points from the bench against Tonga in 2019.

He will arrive in Ireland with 72 Super Rugby caps to his name split across his time with the Highlanders and the Chiefs.

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“Forever grateful for my time with the Gallagher Chiefs,” Ioane said after his exit from the Chiefs was announced.

“A big thank you to the fans, the club and my teammates for making it a memorable three seasons. I’m excited for the next chapter with Connacht and looking forward to what’s to come.”


Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan added: “It is common practice for players to regularly explore their options, and adding an overseas experience is often high on their bucket list. Josh has reached that stage in his rugby career and we are delighted for him and his family that he will be taking up an opportunity with Connacht.

“Josh has achieved a lot in New Zealand and we are extremely grateful for his time and contribution at the Gallagher Chiefs. He has an incredible skill-set and can light up a game in a way that few others can. We wish him and his wh?nau all the best on their new adventure.”

The All Black’s future head coach Pete Wilkins said: “We are thrilled to welcome Josh to Connacht next season. We were open about the need for additional depth at 10 following JJ’s injury, and in Josh we have secured a player with a wealth of experience and an excellent skill set, that will both excite our supporters and complement our existing backs.

“We look forward to him joining the squad and helping us push for success next season.”


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Dan 12 days ago

Why wouldn't he leave. Gets to play for a living wage, in a packed stadium, higher quality rugby in a much better comp than you’ll ever find the SH and supporters who actually support their team by buying mafch tickets and caring about the sport and it’s players.

Be criminal not to bail out of middle earth with that criteria met.

David 12 days ago

Ireland have been mining (poaching) the Chiefs backs for a long time. Three former Chiefs made the W Cup team of the tournament, (Lowe, Ake and Big Ben for Tonga) players who were not considered good enough to make the ABs. No wonder they took the money and a better chance of playing Int. rugby.

Toaster 12 days ago

There’s their next first five 😂

Go on do it!!

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Wonton 3 hours ago
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One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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