6 Oct 2008

Daniel Braid leaving New Zealand rugby

7:11 am on 6 October 2008

The Auckland flanker Daniel Braid is leaving New Zealand rugby.

27-year-old Braid has signed a two-year option with the Queensland Reds and will join the squad later this year for the start of the Super 14.

Braid made his provincial debut for Auckland in 2001, and has played more than 78 games for Auckland and 59 matches for the Blues in the Super 14.

He was first selected for the All Blacks in 2002, and was picked in the 2003 Rugby World Cup squad the following year.

The New Zealand Player of the Year in 2007, Braid also played for New Zealand Maori and the Junior All Blacks and was called into the All Blacks this year, playing against Australia in Sydney.

He says it has been the toughest decision he has had to make in his rugby career.

But he says he wanted to experience something new in rugby, and the move to Queensland is the best of both worlds.

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen says it is disappointing to lose Braid.

Auckland Rugby and Blues CEO Andy Dalton says Braid's leadership, experience and rugby talent will be missed from both camps.