Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Lima Sopoaga confirms departure in emotional post

Lima Sopoaga confirms departure in emotional post

Steve Hansen, the All Blacks coach, has expressed his disappointment at Lima Sopoaga's decision to leave New Zealand and sign for Wasps.

Lima Sopoaga celebrates a try against the Springboks during the 2017 season.

The Times newspaper reported today that the Highlanders number 10 has signed a two-year deal with London Wasps, meaning the 26-year-old will not be available for the All Blacks for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"It's with a heavy heart that I announce that my family and I will be leaving NZ at the end of the 2018 season", Sopoaga wrote on Instagram.

Sopoaga, who recently became a father for the first time, said it was a hard decision to make.

Conrad Smith Daniel Carter Ma'a Nonu Keven Mealamu Richie Mc Caw and Tony Woodcock left after the 2015 season but
Lima Sopoaga confirms departure in emotional post

"I have loved every minute of being a professional footballer here in NZ, I've made lifelong friends and memories I will cherish forever".

The Wellington-born outhalf will add a new dimension to Wasps' backline and you would expect the Highlanders to be disappointed that they will be losing one of their star players.

He gained 16 caps for the All Blacks since making his test debut in July 2015, starting only twice as Beauden Barrett was preferred.

Lima Sopoaga and Beauden Barrett of the All Blacks show off the Bledisloe Cup in August a year ago.

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