You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Fekitoa undecided on Highlanders future

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017

Malakai Fekitoa of New Zealand  during the international rugby match between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks at Aviva Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images) © Phil Walter/Getty Images Malakai Fekitoa of New Zealand during the international rugby match between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks at Aviva Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images) Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa has confirmed some overseas clubs are interested in his services as he prepares for a milestone season-opening match.

The Highlanders should be confident about their season-opener against the Chiefs, having won their last six clashes, along with 11 of their last 12 Super Rugby matches at home.

Friday's match is also the 50th for Fekitoa, the bruising All Blacks midfield back who is off-contract at the end of the season.

The 24-year-old confirmed "doors have been knocking" from overseas.

"I don't know what's going to pop up after this. I would love to stay or maybe look at elsewhere," he said.

"I just have to see what's best for me and my career, and also my family."

Tongan-born Fekitoa has played 23 Tests since a stunning rookie season in 2014.

He was a lively backup performer at the following year's World Cup although his 2016 form was more solid rather than spectacular as All Blacks coach Steve Hansen sought a regular replacement for the departed Conrad Smith.

Fekitoa's initial focus is the Chiefs and what he says is a "massive milestone".

"It (50 games) was always a part of my goal and long term plan, but I didn't know it was going to come this quick," Fekitoa said.

Fekitoa enters the season knowing he is in a battle for a mid-year Test spot agaisnt the British and Irish Lions, particularly given the blossoming form last year of Anton Lienert-Brown.

Fekitoa was full of praise for the Chiefs midfielder, who he will square off against on Friday.

"He's really smart, a very good player, he's grown so much over the last few months," Fekitoa said.

"He's very fast and has got certain skills some of us don't have. I am looking forward to testing myself and having a bit of fun with our boys, and doing our thing first and hopefully we come out on top."

He has clearly impressed fellow-All Black, and Highlanders captain Ben Smith, who wants to see Fekitoa join in him re-signing for the southern franchise.

"I'd love to see Malakai sign for another 20 years," Smith said.

"I think you're seeing how well he plays when he enjoys his environment. I'd hope that he would sign back up with us for a few more years."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon