Chiefs flanker Lachlan Boshier has foresaken his All Blacks hopes to sign with Japanese club Panasonic for the next two years.
Boshier's outstanding Super Rugby form over the past couple of seasons has seen him on the fringe of national selection, but the openside has fallen victim to a surfeit of loose forward riches available to coach Ian Foster, even with skipper Sam Cane sidelined through injury.
Foster has preferred Hurricanes star Ardie Savea, Blues exponent Dalton Papalii and Crusaders debutant Ethan Blackadder to cover the No.7 jersey against Tonga and Fiji next month, with Cane waiting in the wings to eventually take his position back.
Boshier has played 64 games for the Chiefs, since debuting in 2016, while turning out for Taranaki in the national provincial competition.
"I've really enjoyed my time with the Chiefs," he says. "There is a great group of people involved with the club - the team, staff and fans are outstanding.
"I am exceptionally thankful to the coaching staff, especially [Neil Barnes]. The work they do is immense and has allowed me to develop into the player I am today.
"While I am sad to leave the Chiefs, I am excited for the new challenge ahead. It is a great opportunity and I will be looking forward to embracing the Japanese culture."
Coached by former Crusaders and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, Panasonic Wild Knights took out the 2021 Top League championship with a roster that included NZ-born prop Craig Millar and former Welsh international Hadleigh Parkes.
"Lachlan is an exceptionally talented player and has played a massive part in the Chiefs success," says Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins. "We know he will impress over in Japan and we wish him all the very best in the next chapter of his career."
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