All Black and Blues lock Anthony Boric is the latest player to leave New Zealand for Japan after signing with the Mitsubishi Dynaboars.
Boric made his All Black debut in 2008 and earned 24 Test caps until a neck injury ruled him out last year. He has recently returned for the Blues, but will leave in September on a two-year deal.
"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 ," Boric said in a statement.
"I am also extremely grateful to the people who have helped me achieve what I have in my rugby career so far," he added.
Blues' head coach Sir John Kirwan admitted that Boric's departure came as a major disappointment for the Auckland franchise..
"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," Kirwan said.
Boric joins a growing list of New Zealand players who will be heading to Japan at the end of the season, with centre Richard Kahui, prop Ben May and flyhalf Stephen Donald all having signed contracts.