MacDonald heads for Japan

2009-05-07 08:37
Heading for Japan (Gallo Images)

Christchurch - All Blacks fullback Leon MacDonald has retired from international rugby and will play in Japan from the end of the current Super 14 season.

MacDonald said on Thursday he will join the Osaka-based Kintetsu club, coached by New Zealander Peter Sloane, for his second stint in Japan. He played for Yamaha in 2004 before returning to New Zealand to reclaim his All Blacks jersey and to extend an international career which comprises 56 Tests.

MacDonald said he had decided to wind up his careers for the All Blacks, Crusaders and Canterbury province.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make, as I will obviously miss playing for the Crusaders and Canterbury," he said. "I have had many good times here, including winning six titles with the Crusaders and the Ranfurly Shield twice for Canterbury."

All Blacks coach Graham Henry described MacDonald as "the ultimate professional."

"Leon has performed at the very highest level and has done fantastically well for the All Blacks, Crusaders and Canterbury," he said.

"He has had to overcome major obstacles with injury and has returned to play some exceptional rugby."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How will the Springboks fare in their three end of year tour Tests against England, Italy and Wales?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.