The Chiefs’ locking stocks have taken another hit with confirmation that Canadian test star Tyler Ardron has signed a deal in France and will leave the franchise next week.
Ardron, 29, has been an excellent player for the Chiefs since joining them in 2018, but has accepted an offer with the French club Castres Olympique. He will finish Tuesday with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs also announced that fierce midfielder Tumua Manu will join Pau in France, although he will remain available for selection until the end of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“I loved my stay here in New Zealand with the Chiefs and Bay of Plenty Steamers,” Ardron said in a statement.
* Crusaders-Chiefs: Christchurch prepares for first home game since lockout
* “Joe Moody Doesn’t Evaluate You”: Head Coach Warren Gatland’s Joke at Nepo Laulala
* David Havili: the swiss army knife of “luxury” crusaders
* Super Rugby Aotearoa: Highlanders debut in another few weeks for Nehe Milner-Skudder
* No hatred of Damian McKenzie but the leaders are desperate to win against the crusaders
“The supporters and fans in the Chiefs and Chiefs area are incredible.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to explore New Zealand and meet a number of great people along the way.”
The Chiefs struggled to line up at Super Rugby Aotearoa, and strapped young Tupou Vaa’i and Naitoa Ah Kuoi in second place.
Experienced Michael Allardice has already been sidelined for the season due to an injury.
“I am extremely grateful to the Chiefs’ coaching staff, especially” Barnsey ” [Neil Barnes] for taking my chance and bringing me, “said Ardron.
“I am also grateful to the Bay of Plenty team. [Coach] Clayton [McMillan] and the team on the hill was also fantastic and I really enjoyed my time with both teams. “
Manu, 27, said: “I really enjoyed my time with the chefs and I will be sad to go. “
Ardron has 30 appearances in his name in the Chiefs jersey and Manu has played 18 times for the franchise since leaving Auckland.
“Tyler and Tumua are both very talented players and have made significant contributions to the Chiefs,” said CEO Michael Collins.
“On behalf of the Chiefs Rugby Club, we wish them all the best in their next phase of their careers. “