Rugby: Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read 'not really keen' to return to Japan due to coronavirus

Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read admits the prospect of him returning to Japan to play rugby is unlikely this season. 

After last year's Rugby World Cup, Read signed a two-year deal with Toyota Verblitz in the Japan Top 14 League. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Top 14 season was cancelled, although organisers are looking at scheduling a revamped tournament, starting in May. 

On Monday, Read returned to New Zealand to join his family, who had come back the previous week.

If that does happen, Read won't be part of it, telling Radio Sport he'd rather remain with his family in Christchurch until the COVID-19 crisis calms down. 

"Nah, not really," Read said when asked if he wants to return to Japan. "Not in the current climate and with everything going on, I just want to be here with my family.

"It definitely won't be for me this season. They're looking at playing in May which I just don't see happening when they've cancelled an event that is over four months away in the Olympics.

"I think I'll be at home until we actually know how this thing's going to play out, which I think is going to be a few months or more I guess.

Read added he won't rule out a return to Japan for the second year of his contract in January but he could also retire.

"I am contracted for next year in Japan and I guess we'll just wait and see what happens with this virus," he told Radio Sport.

"If it's all gone out of the world and people are travelling around then potentially I could be back up there."

Read is one of many former All Blacks who currently play in Japan including Dan Carter and Brodie Retallick.

The 128-test All Black just made it back to New Zealand before the country's lockdown came into effect.

"Grateful to be heading home to the family, let's #steadythespread New Zealand. Please do your part for the whole of our country," Read wrote on Instagram on Wednesday.