• Crotty to Join Read in Japan Top League after 2019 World Cup

    Word on the street is that Ryan Crotty will not be overlooked by New Zealand for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, as he was in 2015.

    Crotty will be back from Japan, or he might just stay around, as he is departing the Crusaders at the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season for a job with the Kubota Spears in the Japanese Top League.

    Crotty is obviously looking at life after rugby and a job in Japan might supply him with some financial security.

    He has been an above-average player in 11 seasons with Super Rugby side Crusaders, so we hope he receives well above the average of $294,175 for Japan Top League players.

    The average salary for Super Rugby players is $225,000, which would tend to indicate Crotty will get at least some boost.

    Crotty was at one time linked to overseas offers from the lucrative French rugby market, but Crotty elected to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby in 2018. He was just 28 at the time and the one-year term of the contract had some scratching their heads.

    Crotty may well find himself butting head with All Blacks captain Kieran Read, who is joining Toyota Verblitz following the World Cup.

    “The All Blacks, Crusaders and Canterbury rugby have been such an important part of my life and I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to represent my country, my province and my family over the years,” Crotty told reporters.

    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen tipped his cap to Crotty, saying, “Crotts has been one of the mainstays of our midfield for many years and is a world-class footballer.”

    Crotty, if he harboured any resentment at being left off the New Zealand squad for the 2015 World Cup in favour of Sonny Bill Williams and Malakai Fekitoa, he did not show it by his play, as he was a prominent factor in New Zealand starring in the 3 – 0 Test win over Wales in 2016.