All Blacks: Jordan Taufua signs with Leicester Tigers

Jordan Taufua and Steve Hansen.
Jordan Taufua and Steve Hansen. Photo credit: Photosport

Crusaders loose forward Jordan Taufua is the latest Kiwi rugby star to announce his departure from New Zealand, after signing with English club the Leicester Tigers.

The 27-year-old will leave after the Mitre 10 Cup season on a two and a half year deal.

Taufua was a member of the 2018 All Blacks squad during the home test series against France but never made it onto the field.

A broken arm then ruled him out of selection for the Rugby Championship end-of-year Northern Hemisphere tour.

He played for the Barbarians and was a member of the Crusaders side which played the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

Taufua can't wait for his new adventure and is hopeful of still making the All Blacks' World Cup squad later in 2019.

"I am very excited to be joining the Leicester Tigers after the Rugby World Cup," Taufua said.

"I have taken time to learn about the history of the club, and it will be an honour to be a part of such a storied rugby programme.

"I see a lot of similarities between the Tigers and the Crusaders, and I am fully bought-in to the vision that Geordan Murphy and his staff have for the team."

Murphy, the Tigers head coach, said he couldn't wait to have the dynamic forward at his arsenal.

"Jordan is a very physical and powerful player schooled in the best traditions of back row play in New Zealand.

"He has extensive experience in Super Rugby with the Crusaders, and we look forward to welcoming him to Welford Road in the new season."

Taufua has played 80 matches for the Crusaders and more than 60 games in the Mitre 10 Cup with Canterbury, Counties Manukau, and Tasman.

Former Chiefs lock Michael Fitzgerald, along with former Blues flanker Brendon O'Connor are the only New Zealanders currently contracted to the Tigers.

Several All Blacks have already confirmed their departure after the World Cup, including Ben Smith, Kieran Read, Matt Proctor, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Jeff Toomaga-Allen.