Rugby: All Black Ardie Savea concedes Japanese payday too good to turn down for post-World Cup switch

All Blacks forward Ardie Savea said the opportunity to earn a significant payday was the main reason behind his decision to join Japan's Kobelco Kobe Steelers after this year's Rugby World Cup.

Savea, who has played 70 tests, will lead the Hurricanes into the upcoming Super Rugby season and will make the move to Japan once the Rugby World Cup has been completed in France in October.

"Plain and simple - to set up my family. The money's good, I'm not going to lie," Savea said of his reason for the switch.

Ardie Savea.
Ardie Savea. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's an opportunity to set up my family and also to try something new. It's a bit of a challenge and hopefully it puts me on my toes.

"Not that I'm not on my toes here, but there's just something about going into a new environment and feeling young and being a rookie again.

"Hopefully that sparks something in me to keep going for a few more years."

Savea is one of several high-profile All Blacks who will leave New Zealand to play in Japan, with Richie Mo'unga previously announcing he will join Tokyo-based Toshiba Brave Lupus with his All Blacks team mate Shannon Frizell.

Others are expected to follow upon the conclusion of the World Cup and Savea admitted he wanted to sign-off on the move as soon as possible to avoid missing out on the opportunity.

"To be honest, I just put the feelers out and whatever club came first that was interested, I was just keen to get a signed deal," said Savea.

"Obviously, it's post-World Cup so there are so many players looking to go to Japan and international quotas would get filled up so I just wanted to get in early."