Rugby: All Blacks flanker Matt Todd extends deal with NZ Rugby, signs with Japan's Panasonic Wild Knights

Todd has earned 14 caps for New Zealand.
Todd has earned 14 caps for New Zealand. Photo credit: Getty

All Blacks flanker Matt Todd has signed on for a stint in Japan but will remain with both New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders for 2019.

Todd will join the Panasonic Wild Knights for their 2018 Top League campaign, the club announced in a statement on Monday afternoon.

That news was closely followed by confirmation from the Crusaders that he's extended his deal with NZR, which was set to expire at the end of this year, putting the 30-year-old in the selection frame for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Todd's been a stand-out for the defending champions and played a prominent role in the All Blacks' third test demolition of France on Saturday.

Based in Ota City, the Wild Knights are coached by former Crusaders stalwart Robbie Deans and sport a host of current and ex-Wallabies, including David Pocock, Digby Ioane and Berrick Barnes.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to come to Panasonic," Todd said in the club's statement. "I know they are a successful club who play a great style of rugby and are very well coached.

"My family and I are looking forward to getting up to Japan and experiencing Ota."

The Wild Knights have enjoyed plenty of success through the past decade, winners of five of the past 10 Top League titles.