Saili agrees to leave Blues and play for Munster

All Blacks and Blues utility back Francis Saili has signed a two year contract with Irish Rugby club Munster and will join them after the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Saili’s two year deal is a blow for the All Blacks in a Rugby World Cup year and comes just days after rising All Blacks star Charles Piutau agreed to join Irish club Ulster in July 2016.

That two All Blacks have signed contracts in Europe in the space of week indicates that the Blues have a lack of faith in the future of the Blues.

Twenty-four-year-old Saili made his All Black debut against Argentina in 2013 and will complete his contractual commitments to the Blues and will then join Munster in July.

“We are really pleased that Francis has committed his future to the province,” said Munster coach Anthony Foley in a statement.

“He is a talented centre with an impressive skills-set and he possesses the physical attributes to excel in the northern hemisphere.

“I believe he will be a great addition to our backline and we look forward to welcoming him to Munster.”

A number of other current All Blacks have announced that they will leave New Zealand and play in Europe next year including Dan Carter (Racing-Metro), Ma’a Nonu (Toulon) and Conrad Smith (Pau).

Saili said that he was looking forward to a fresh challenge.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am fortunate to move to a club held in such high regard, with values and traditions I can relate to from my time here in the Blues,” he said.

“This experience will stand to me as a player and I believe I can continue to improve and grow within the Munster set-up. ”

“As difficult as it is to leave the Blues I look forward to the exciting challenge ahead.”

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