Highlanders forward Elliot Dixon eyes up overseas move pending All Blacks selection

Three-Test All Black Elliot Dixon could join the flood of fringe players heading overseas on lucrative deals.

The loose forward endured an injury-plagued campaign in 2017 after making a considerable international impression the year prior in both the home series against Wales and the annual European tour, but has since been on the outer from Steve Hansen's squad, usurped by the likes of the highly-touted Vaea Fifita and Liam Squire.

Dixon admits that while his ultimate goal remains to recapture his All Blacks spot, anything less will likely result in an off-shore move.

We've been looking overseas. I come off contract at the end of the year and have the option to leave straight after Super Rugby as well," he told Newshub.

"If I get into the All Blacks then yes, I'll definitely be staying. It's just whether or not I'm in the mix…if I'm not I'll definitely be looking overseas."

It would be a reluctant shift, but an opportunity to secure a long-term future for his young family is something he says holds plenty of appeal.

"It's a little bit harder just because I have two kids and a partner and were based in Dunedin and loving it there.

"I don’t really want to leave New Zealand, but if there's an opportunity to travel and take my family somewhere and look after them so that I don’t have to work for a wee bit after rugby, then I'd probably take it."

For now, the former U20 world cup winner is looking to re-establish himself in the Highlanders starting line-up with Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock and Dillon Hunt all competing for spots in the loose forward trio.

Feeling all the better for getting some gametime under his belt under the searing sun at the Brisbane Tens last weekend, the focus is now a simple one for the now fully-fit Dixon.

"I just want to have fun this year, really. Get back to getting the ball in the hand a bit more and making some big shots - which I'm always a fan of - and get involved in the game a bit more."

The Highlanders kick-off their Super Rugby season against the Blues in Dunedin on February 23.