Blues and All Black lock Anthony Boric has announced that he will head to Japan after the end of the current the Super Rugby season.
Boric has signed a two year deal with the Mitsubishi Dynaboars and will join them in September.
"Japan is a country I have always enjoyed visiting so to be settling there for a time will be a great experience for me. "
"I am excited at the prospect of joining the Mitsubishi Dynaboars and look forward to playing my part in helping the team achieve its goal of reaching the top league as soon as possible and staying there ," said Boric today.
"I am also extremely grateful to the people who have helped me achieve what I have in my rugby career so far."
The 2m tall North Harbour lock made his Super Rugby debut in 2006, and has since played 64 games for the Blues.
He was named an All Black in 2008, earning 24 Test caps up until the end of 2011 Rugby World Cup.
A neck injury in 2012 required surgery and kept Boric on the sidelines for a year, with him returning to the field just a fortnight ago for the Blues.
Blues Head coach Sir John Kirwan admitted he's disappointed about Boric's departure.
"I'm disappointed AB (Anthony) is leaving as he is a great player, who I believe still has a lot to offer both the Blues and New Zealand rugby. However, I have spoken with him and fully understand his decision."
Blues CEO Andy Dalton said Boric has been an asset to the franchise as a good quality man on and off the field.
"Anthony has been a pretty special member of our organisation for several years. He is known and respected for his professionalism in all aspects of the game. "
"Whether it is on the field as a fine player or working alongside sponsors or out in the community amongst kids in schools and clubs - everything he does is with an outstanding attitude. "
"All of us at the Blues will be sorry to see him head offshore, but we thank him for his outstanding service to our franchise and wish him well."