Ngatai picks Lyon over Toulouse as new home
Cape Town - Charlie Ngatai has joined several other fringe All
Black players in leaving New Zealand, with confirmation that he is
moving to Lyon at the end of the season.
Ngatai has one Test cap for the All Blacks but was denied an
opportunity to cement his place in the team due to a concussion that
ruled him out of rugby for 12 months.
“I‘m likely looking to head overseas, and more likely over
to France, at the end of the season,” Ngatai told Reuters early in the
It was reported that Toulouse and Lyon were interested in
acquiring Ngatai’s signature, with Toulouse having initially been tipped
as the frontrunner to do, but Ngatai has opted for Lyon.
"LOU Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of Charlie
Ngatai (for) next season - welcome to Lyon Charlie," the club wrote on
Because he had a year taken away from him due to that
horrible concussion, Ngatai believes the decision to go to France is in
the best interests of prolonging his career.
Instead of challenging for an All Blacks jersey, he wants to secure financial security while he is still in his prime.
“That’s another reason why we looked overseas as well, you
never know when your career’s going to finish,” he said, adding that the
depth of talent in the All Blacks midfield would make it a challenge to
“I guess a lot of it comes down to money. And then
opportunity - there’s a lot of young players coming through in New
Zealand, and places in the All Blacks team are a lot harder.”
Ngatai joins 16-Test flyhalf Lima Sopoaga and Brad Shields
as promising players confirmed to be heading abroad at the end of the
2018 Super Rugby season.
Utility back Charles Piutau also left for Europe in arguably
his prime in 2015, while loose forward Steven Luatua joined Bristol