Blues flyhalf Stephen Brett has joined the growing New Zealand exodus to cash-flush clubs abroad.
He confirmed on Wednesday that he will be joining the Toyota Verblitz rugby club in Japan.
The 25-year old has signed a two-year contract with the club which he will join following his rugby commitments in New Zealand this year.
In 2010, Brett joined the Blues as the starting flyhalf and spent more time on the field than any other Blues' player that year.
This season is still going for the Blues and Brett says he is thrilled to be in the play-offs with his team.
"Playing finals rugby with the Blues means a lot in my last year with the team," Brett said.
"Having done that with the Crusaders, It's pretty special to me to be doing it again alongside my Blues team-mates."
Brett's provincial career began in 2005 for Canterbury and the following year he made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders against the Blues.
His first national selection came in 2006 with the New Zealand Under-21 team.
In 2007, Brett was the player to score the most points in both provincial and Super Rugby competitions, earning him a Junior All Blacks selection that same year.
Brett says he is very grateful to the people who have supported his rugby pathway.
"I've had a wonderful career in New Zealand, having played for both the Blues and Crusaders in Super Rugby, provincial rugby for Canterbury and represented New Zealand in the NZ U21, Junior All Blacks and NZ Maori teams. While it's impossible to thank all the people you want to - they know who they are."
Blues coach Pat Lam said Brett's contribution to the Blues had been significant.
"It was a big call for Stephen to come to the Blues from the Crusaders and he is well respected in our team. His contribution on and off the field has been a valuable part of our team's growth during the past couple of seasons and he will be missed."
Brett will play his 31st match for the Blues on Saturday and had 39 caps for the Crusaders and 57 for Canterbury.
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