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Report: Rising Hurricanes star signs with Montpellier

By Ned Lester
Josh Moorby of the Hurricanes. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Reports out of France are stating Hurricanes outside back Josh Moorby has agreed to a two-year deal with Top 14 outfit Montpellier.

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French publication Midi Olympique has revealed that the 25-year-old’s talks with the club have ended positively. Moorby is expected to join the heavyweights once his contract with New Zealand Rugby ends later this year.

The news comes as the club is also set to lose the services of All Black Jordie Barrett for 2025, with the second five-eighth heading to Leinster on a six-month sabbatical as part of his new, multi-year contract with New Zealand Rugby.

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Moorby has recently risen to the top of the outside back pecking order amongst a talented field in Wellington, claiming the No. 14 jersey ahead of the likes of Salesi Rayasi. His promotion was also believed to be a factor in Julian Savea’s exit from the club, with new ‘Canes coach Clark Laidlaw wanting to invest playing time in his young stars.

In 2022, the Waikato native was named the Hurricanes’ Rookie of the Year in a breakthrough campaign after moving north from the Highlanders, where he was an injury reserve.

Moorby has represented the Maori All Blacks since that impressive 2022 campaign and has evolved into a lethal scoring threat with the ability to play both the fullback and wing positions.

With the Hurricanes’ recent form propelling them to the top of the Super Rugby Pacific table with an unbeaten record, Moorby would have no doubt caught the eye of All Blacks selectors and would have certainly been in the conversation for at least an All Blacks XV call-up in 2024.

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The aforementioned Rayasi’s contract also concludes in 2024 and the Hurricanes will be hoping a potential return to the starting XV in Moorby’s absence will play into their favour when hosting those contract discussions.

Also on the Hurricanes’ books is recent New Zealand U20 product, Harry Godfrey. The fullback produced a game-high 16 carries with four linebreaks and scored a try in his most recent start for the team.

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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