8 May 2009

All Black fullback to head to Japan again

12:16 pm on 8 May 2009

The All Blacks and Crusaders fullback Leon MacDonald is to return to play in Japan at the end of the Super 14 season.

MacDonald, who's 31 and played 56 Tests, is to join the Kintetsu club, which is coached by formers Crusaders coach Peter Sloane.

MacDonald made his debut for the Crusaders as a 19-year-old in 1997.

The All Blacks coach Graham Henry says while it's sad to see MacDonald go, he remains "the ultimate professional," overcoming major injury problems to return and play exceptional rugby.

He's had a previous stint in Japan playing for the Yamaha club in 2004.