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

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.


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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1 Comment
G 409 days ago

Well deserved!!

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