Rugby: 'I want to raise my daughter here' - family reason behind All Blacks' Patrick Tuipulotu's decision to stay in New Zealand

Family played the key role in Patrick Tuipulotu's decision to remain in New Zealand, as the All Blacks lock re-signed on a long-term deal with NZ Rugby.

On Wednesday, Tuipulotu, 28 announced he had re-committed, inking a new deal that will see him remain on home soil to the end of the 2025 season - making him the current longest contracted player on NZR's books.

With the exception of Ofa Tuungafasi (2024), most All Blacks are only contracted until the end of 2023, after the end of the next Rugby World Cup.

Tuipulotu's new deal also includes a sabbatical in Japan's Top League, which he'll take up in 2022, before returning to international duties. 

But Tuipulotu will be heading to Japan by himself, leaving his partner, Silver Fern Phoenix Karaka, and daughter Pārma in New Zealand.

Speaking to Newshub, Tuipulotu says the financial security on offer from the long-term deal ultimately proved too good to turn down, along with the ability to keep his family at home and the security that comes with it.

"With the climate right now, it's quite hard to see my family going outside of New Zealand," Tuipulotu tells Newshub.

"Hence going to Japan, just me, for a couple of months. 

"Security here long term, and I really want to raise my daughter here, keep her in New Zealand."

The Japanese sabbatical will mean Tuipulotu won't play a part in the Blues' 2022 Super Rugby campaign.

This year, Tuipulotu captained the side to its first title since 2003, defeating the Highlanders to win Super Rugby Trans-Tasman last month.

And Tuipulotu adds that finally breaking the Blues' title drought made things that much easier to leave his side for a season.

"It was probably the toughest part - another tough part. Looking at next year, it's probably a good year for the Blues," he adds.

"When this opportunity came along, it was like a smack in the face. But in saying that, it's too good to pass up.

"Speaking with my agent, my partner and my family, I don't think this opportunity will come again. Hence the call.

"I suppose when we won the [Super Rugby] Trans-Tasman trophy, I think that sort of cemented things a bit more."

And while Tuipulotu intends to finish his career playing on home soil, he concedes that he could look offshore by the time the end of his new deal rolls around.

"It certainly pops into my head. There's a lot of places to play rugby now, and a lot of places seem appealing.

"Auckland or New Zealand's probably the safest at the moment. Beyond '25 it's hard to say, hopefully I'll still be picked up by a team by then."