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Why All Black Sam Whitelock chose to play in France after the World Cup

By AAP
Sam Whitelock. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Veteran All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock will quit rugby in New Zealand to join the French Top 14 club Pau after this year’s World Cup.

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The 34-year-old Whitelock is the most-capped All Blacks lock of all-time, having played 143 matches since his debut in 2010. He also has played 176 Super Rugby matches for the Christchurch-based Crusaders.

Whitelock said he chose Pau because he could play alongside his brother Luke, the former All Blacks backrower who joined the French club in 2019.

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“Hannah, the kids and myself are going to head to France to play with my little brother Luke,” Whitelock said.

“I’ve had the privilege of playing with family for Canterbury, the Crusaders and the All Blacks at different stages and this opportunity was too good to pass up.”

“I want to say thank you to everyone for their support through the years, it’s been absolutely immense.

“You’ve helped me grow, you’ve helped me develop as a player, but most importantly as a person.”

Whitelock is the latest of a number of high-profile All Blacks who have announced they will play overseas after the World Cup.

Fly-halves Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett both are heading to Japan later this year.

 

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Eabn 9 hours ago
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Who cares - boring is good when it comes to Media - they don’t bug you as much. While the focus is on the resurrection of the Wallabies, don’t forget the grass roots - Any opportunity you have to visit, train or promote Rugby down here in Melbourne / Regional is pretty much imperative given the current situation with the Rebels. I’m talking about us grass roots clubs and more so, clubs in the West of Melbourne who are being absolutely smashed by Rugby League and who have been contributing directly to the game down here long before the Rebels emerged and no doubt will do so well after they may be gone. All I have heard is all about the elite level, not the grass roots level so while the talk is about “ The Wallabies” and “Super Rugby Pacific” get back to the roots of Union and include us in your plans. So Phil Waugh and those leaders within RugbyAustralia, it’s on you to ensure the bottom feeders, so to speak, are included in all the talk and the funding if you want Union to regain ground and more respect within the Union and also the broader sporting fraternity. Given you have been in Melbourne a number off times over the last month, extending the courtesy of having a meet and greet with Victorian grass root clubs eluded you for some reason. Do we count or matter in RA’s and yours bigger picture?? Ean Drummond - Club Founder/President - Wyndham City Rhinos RUFC Inc. Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne.

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