Weepu: Why I am moving

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:56
Large piri weepu blues sits

All Black and World Cup-winning scrumhalf Piri Weepu's departure from New Zealand to the Premiership in England has been confirmed.

It may not exactly be 'breaking news', but All Black and World Cup-winning scrumhalf Piri Weepu's departure from New Zealand to the Premiership in England has been confirmed.

London Welsh formally announced that Weepu will join up with the Exiles ahead of the 2014/15 season.

Capped 71 times by New Zealand in an international career spanning from 2004 to 2013, the 30-year-old is moving to England from the Blues.

Weepu scored 103 points in his All Black career and played a leading role in New Zealand's 2011 World Cup success, particularly in their knock-out victories over Australia and Argentina, when he was man of the match.

However, his decision to sign for the Oxford-based club will signal an end to his international career as the All Blacks have a policy of not selecting players based outside New Zealand.

"I'm hugely excited by the opportunity of joining London Welsh and at the challenge of playing in the Premiership - consistently one of the best leagues in world rugby," said Weepu.

"London Welsh is an iconic and globally recognised brand in the rugby world and I'm looking forward to linking up with head coach Justin Burnell and my new London Welsh teammates, and helping the club re-establish itself in the top flight and in Oxford."

Weepu joined the Blues for the 2012 Super Rugby campaign, after eight seasons with the Hurricanes while, at provincial level, he played for Auckland and Wellington.

He made his senior New Zealand debut in 2004 against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, with cap No.71 coming against France in June, 2013.

Weepu will join up with promoted London Welsh at the end of the current Super Rugby campaign and could form a halfback partnership with England flyhalf Olly Barkley.

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell said: "It doesn't get much better than being a World Cup winner with 71 caps for the All Blacks - it's a signing that speaks for itself.

"It's massive statement of intent from the Club in regard to its drive to be able to compete in the Premiership next season, and not just survive.

"It's also going to be a fantastic opportunity for the younger players within our squad to mix and learn from a player of Piri's experience and ability. As a player, his skill set is unbelievable; his kicking game and tactical appreciation are tremendous.

"After meeting with him in Singapore at the Club 10s, his personality and aura is such that it will be second nature for him to fit in to the environment we've created at London Welsh."

Weepu has fallen down the All Blacks' pecking order to rivals such as Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara, and has little hope of playing in next year's World Cup.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 04 December 2015
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h05 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Edinburgh 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Sale Sharks 19h45 Kingsholm
Sat, 05 December 2015
Treviso v Scarlets 15h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 15h00 Scotstoun
Harlequins v London Irish 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Northampton Saints 15h15 Recreation Ground
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 17h30 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 06 December 2015
Dragons v Munster 14h30 Rodney Parade
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Zebre v Ospreys 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 5 5 0 0 22
Exeter Chiefs 5 4 0 1 19
Leicester Tigers 5 4 0 1 16
Harlequins 5 3 0 2 15
Wasps 5 3 0 2 14
Northampton Saints 5 2 0 3 12
Sale Sharks 5 2 1 2 12
Bath 5 2 0 3 10
Worcester Warriors 5 2 0 3 10
Gloucester 5 2 0 3 9
Newcastle Falcons 5 0 1 4 2
London Irish 5 0 0 5 0