All Blacks first-five Lima Sopoaga confirms departure via Instagram

  • 11/01/2018
The first-five has played 16 Tests for the All Blacks.
The first-five has played 16 Tests for the All Blacks. Photo credit: Getty Images

All Blacks and Highlanders first-five Lima Sopoaga has confirmed he will be heading north at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season.

The 26-year-old has signed a deal with London Wasps in the English Premiership, and will link up with New Zealanders Jimmy Gopperth, and departing Hurricanes flanker Brad Shields. 

Sopoaga confirmed the move on his Instagram page, insisting it was difficult decision. 

"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.

"It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make but is one I'm at peace with. I have loved every minute of being a professional footballer here in NZ, I've made life-long friends and memories that I'll cherish forever.

"I'd like to thank the Highlanders, All Blacks, Southland and Wellington for the awesome experiences you have provided me with over the years. Thank you to all the fans for your support it's been one heck of a ride.

"To my teammates and coaches over the years thank you for everything, I've been blessed to have met so many top men. Last but not least to my family & friends you know who you are the ones who have stood by me through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs you have seen both the valleys and the peaks, THANK YOU will never be enough!

"So here's to 2018 one last roll of the dice before I head off to experience life on the other side of the world. I'm ready."

Sopoaga has played 16 Tests for New Zealand, making his debut against the Springboks in a 27-20 victory.