England center Marchant joins Blues in Super Rugby

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — England center Joe Marchant has signed to play for the Auckland-based Blues in the 2020 Super Rugby tournament.

The 23-year-old, who has played three tests, recently signed a contract extension with London-based Harlequins but has been freed on sabbatical to spend a season in the southern hemisphere competition.

"Joe has impressed us on and off the field and we look forward to him joining us in January," Blues head of high performance Tony Hanks said. "We are confident that he will learn from his experience in Super Rugby and certainly our players, especially our young backs, will greatly appreciate learning from him."

Meanwhile, former All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden will rejoin the Hamilton-based Chiefs for the 2020 season.

Cruden, 30, played 50 tests for New Zealand and more than 80 matches for the Chiefs, winning two Super Rugby titles, before moving overseas in 2017.

He will join the Chiefs on a one-year contract after leaving French club Montpellier and before joining the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports