Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / Super Rugby 2014 / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
Top League
Andy Ellis heading to Japan
ESPN Staff
June 27, 2014
Andy Ellis will not play for Canterbury in the ITM Cup this season © Getty Images
Enlarge

The trickle of players heading to Japan is threatening to become a flow after Crusaders' scrum-half Andy Ellis signed for Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers.

Ellis will miss the domestic ITM Cup season in New Zealand to play in Japan's Top League, returning to the Crusaders fold next year to press his claim for a place in the All Blacks squad for the 2015 World Cup.

"I love playing for Canterbury and the Crusaders and I would love the chance to represent New Zealand again if the opportunity ever came up,'' said Ellis, who played the last of his 26 Tests in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final.

''This is certainly not a sign of my playing days in New Zealand coming to an end," Ellis told Fairfax Media in New Zealand. "I am just fortunate to have the ability to play rugby in Japan, which is something I've always wanted to do, and then return home to continue with the Crusaders.''

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder said Ellis went to Japan with his blessing.

"Andy has been such a loyal servant to New Zealand rugby and he fully deserves this opportunity to go and gain some international experience," Blackadder said. "We are especially pleased that he's committed to returning to the Crusaders at the end of his season in Kobe.

"Andy has so much more to offer New Zealand rugby so it is fantastic that he continues to see his future here."

Ellis becomes the latest Super Rugby player to move to Japan. He joins the likes of Schalk Burger and Frans Steyn in moving to the Top League as the profile of rugby in the Asian nation grows. Japan recently broke into the world's top ten for the first time in their history.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - United States GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Darts - European Championship
    Golf - McGladrey Classic
    Golf - Perth International
    Tennis - Swiss Indoors
    Tennis - Valencia Open
    Tennis - WTA Finals
  • Football

    'It is 100 percent the best goal I've seen live'

    Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen says Erik Lamela's stunning "Rabona" strike against Asteras Tripolis should already have won him the Puskas award for the best goal of 2014

  • Football

    Wenger insists there's nothing wrong with Arsenal's training

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted his team do not need to step up their training regime, despite comments from defender Per Mertesacker suggesting extra work may need to be put in to resolve their defensively difficulties this season

  • Football

    Serbia awarded 3-0 win over Albania

    UEFA has awarded Serbia a 3-0 walkover for their abandoned Euro 2016 qualifier against Albania in Belgrade but have also deducted the Serbians three points and ordered their next two home qualifiers to be played behind closed doors

  • Football

    Fit-again Walcott not mentally ready for return - Wenger

    Arsene Wenger is waiting to reintroduce fully-fit winger Theo Walcott to Arsenal's first team as the forward "gets used to being kicked again" after his long-term knee injury

  • Golf

    Compton leads at Sea Island

    Erik Compton is happy with where he is in golf, and he's not referring to his five-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the McGladrey Classic

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!