New Zealand Rugby
Brett refuses to rule out a move north
September 19, 2008
Brett could join the exodus of leading New Zealand players © Getty Images
Canterbury and Crusaders five-eighth Stephen Brett has not ruled out joining the talent drain north after being linked with a move to Tana Umaga's French rugby club Toulon.
A report on TV3 last night linked the 22-year-old to a potential shift to Europe and Brett responded by telling the Christchurch Press newspaper he had "spoken to a few people" about playing overseas.
The television report suggested Brett, who is off contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union at the end of the year, would pursue an overseas contract if he failed to make the All Blacks' November tour to Hong Kong, Great Britain and Ireland.
Brett denied that claim but was non-commital about his future. "I've just got to keep these things close to myself," he said.
Brett is the logical choice to replace Daniel Carter as the Crusaders first five-eighth when the All Blacks' star joins Perpignan on a six-month deal in December. Before this year's test programme Brett was touted as a potential midfield replacement for Aaron Mauger and Luke McAlister though he was eventually overlooked for Ma'a Nonu and Carter's back-up Stephen Donald.
Brett's stocks started to fall in the latter stages of the Crusaders march to their seventh Super rugby title in May when Robbie Deans preferred to play Tim Bateman outside Carter. He ended up playing for New Zealand Maori, alongside Bateman.