Accomplished All Blacks outside back Ben Smith will leave New Zealand to play rugby in France after next year’s Rugby World Cup.
The classy 76-Test wing/fullback has signed to play for French Top 14 club Pau, which has contracted numerous former New Zealand Test players in recent years and is coached by ex All Black Simon Mannix.
Smith, 32, made his Test debut in 2009 but became a mainstay of the world champions’ starting XV when Steve Hansen took over as coach in 2012.
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Liam Squire is the latest All Blacks player to confirm he is leaving New Zealand after this year’s Rugby World Cup, with the loose forward saying on Monday he has agreed to join Japanese club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.