Fresh reports today suggest that All Blacks and Blues superstar back Beauden Barrett has agreed a lucrative deal to play for Suntory Sungoliath in Japan.
The two-time World Player of the Year is currently playing his rugby for the Blues in New Zealand, with strong performances in the first three rounds of the competition.
However, reports suggest he will not represent the All Blacks for two years, as the New Zealand Rugby Union agreed to the deal to help ease the financial strain of COVID-19.
The Sportsmail article is reporting that Barrett will earn NZ $1.5m per season while he is in Japan, which would make him one of the highest-paid players in the world.
In 2019, Barrett confirmed that he would stay with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) until 2023.
Part of Barrett’s new contract with the Blues stipulated that he also has an option to take a short playing break in Japan sometime over the next four years, with any break to be negotiated with NZR and the Blues. It would appear that the former Hurricanes star is now taking this opportunity.
Japan is fast becoming the premier choice for some of the top rugby players in the world with lucrative deals in this area.
Here is a list of just some of the big players in this league during the 2019-2020 season.
- Dan Carter – Kobe Steel
- Samu Kerevi – Suntory Sungoliath
- Matt Giteau – Suntory Sungoliath
- David Pocock – Wild Knights
- Kieran Read – Toyota Verblitz
- Wille le Roux – Toyota Verblitz
- Malcom Marx – Hino Red Dolphins
- Duane Vermeulen – Kubota Spears
Manu Tuilagi was confirmed to have left Leicester Tigers late yesterday evening, and transfer rumours suggest that the England centre could also be heading towards Japan in the not so distant future.
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