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All Blacks winger Doug Howlett to play in Ireland

All Blacks winger Doug Howlett to play in Ireland

All Blacks winger Doug Howlett will join the Irish club Munster after this year's Rugby World Cup, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced Saturday.
Howlett, who has scored 43 tries in 59 test matches for New Zealand, is currently a member of the All Blacks 30-man World Cup squad in France. He joins teammates Carl Hayman, Anton Oliver, Byron Kelleher, Chris Jack and Luke McAlister who have all announced they will play in Britain or France when the Cup is over.
"While disappointed to lose a player of such talent, the NZRU recognizes the significant interest in, and demand for, New Zealand's leading players for clubs and teams in Europe and Japan," the New Zealand union said in a statement.
All Blacks Coach Graham Henry paid tribute to Howlett, who was an age-group sprint champion before he became one of New Zealand rugby's top test try-scorers.
"Doug is a quality international player who has proven his ability at the highest level," Henry said.
"He is a marvelous professional and excellent role model, and although it is disappointing to see a player of his class go overseas, we will always remember the outstanding contribution he has made to New Zealand rugby."
Howlett made his test debut against Tonga in 2000 and has come within four tries of breaking Christian Cullen's record of 47 test tries for the All Blacks.
He holds the record for the most tries by any player in Super 12 and 14 rugby at 59 and is among six New Zealanders to have played 100 Super 12 or 14 games.


Updated : 2021-06-25 19:12 GMT+08:00