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Kiwi exodus continues

Fri, 10 May 2013 07:49
Tamati-ellison-all-blacks Conrad-smith-treated Ma_a-nonu-_-piri-weepu
His stocks have never been higher
Quote-end

All Black centre Tamati Ellison has joined the growing exodus of New Zealand players.

The 30-year-old will rejoin the Japanese club side Ricoh at the end of the current Super Rugby season, adding to New Zealand's concern about a drain of midfield talent.

Ellison first won national selection in 2009, left soon after to play in Japan, but returned last year to win back his All Black jersey.

Injury has curtailed his appearances for the Dunedin-based Highlanders this season.

Of the current All Blacks centres, Conrad Smith is injured and Ma'a Nonu out of form. Richard Kahui will play in Japan next season if he overcomes a shoulder injury and Rene Ranger is due to take up a contract in France.

Ellison would be available for the June internationals against Ireland, but is no longer a long-term option.

He has played just four Tests in a stuttering international career that started in 2009.

Ironically, his stocks have never been higher than they are right now, with everything that is swirling round him in his position, centre.

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