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Milner-Skudder becomes latest ex-All Black to sign for New York

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

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Nehe Milner-Skudder has become the second former All Blacks back three player to join Rugby United New York in the space of a month, the 31-year-old following Waisake Naholo to the Big Apple for the remainder of the 2022 Major League Rugby season. 

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It was April 15 when it was confirmed that Naholo, another 31-year-old, had decided to take up an offer in New York after he was unable to pick up a Super Rugby Pacific deal having returned to New Zealand last July following his release from London Irish in the Gallagher Premiership.

The 26-cap ex-All Blacks winger has now been joined at the American club by his fellow 2015 World Cup winner Milner-Skudder, a veteran of 13 caps for New Zealand. 

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A tweet from his new club read: “Welcome to Rugby New York, Nehe. The high stepping @AllBlacks winger and fullback has arrived and is #BuiltforNewYork. The ’15 RWC winner is ready to call NY home. Just 2 home games left! Join us this Sun in Hoboken v Seattle.”

Milner-Skudder had finished out 2021 playing for Manawatu in the Mitre 10 Cup. However, his Super Rugby Pacific stint at the Highlanders failed to lead to any game time and he has now revisited an offer made earlier this year by New York to come to the MLR.

The 2015 World Cup final try-scorer has had his issues in recent years with injury and his signing by Toulon in France was eventually scuppered by a stubborn shoulder problem, but he is now poised to step in at full-back in place of the injured Troy Lockyear.

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Naholo is also said to be ready to make his debut against Seattle this weekend. New York are currently fourth in the Western Conference of the MLR with eight wins from their twelve matches so far.

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