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Kerr-Barlow admits to Toulon contact

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017

All Blacks halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow has confirmed his manager is in talks with French rugby giants Toulon.

The 25-cap Chiefs gun is off contract at the end of the season and could follow teammate Aaron Cruden to France after the first-five signed a lucrative three-year deal with Montpellier.

"They've been in contact with my agent and that's the nature of the sport we're in, you're always going to get offers," Kerr-Barlow said.

"I have a few decisions to make but we'll just see how it goes."

However the 26-year-old admitted the money on offer overseas, particularly in places like France and Ireland, was difficult for players to turn down.

A number of current All Blacks have reportedly fielded big offers, including star outside backs Ben Smith and Israel Dagg.

Blues tighthead Charlie Faumuina has already accepted a deal to play for Toulouse after this year's Super Rugby campaign.

"It's up to every individual to make the choice that suits, as we can only play to a certain age," Kerr-Barlow said.

"If someone believes it's in their best interests to take an opportunity, then that's up to them."

The possibility of Kerr-Barlow heading offshore has also been magnified by his demotion to third-choice Test No.9 behind TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith.

He admitted the pair were unlikely to give up their positions without a fight but hoped to play a part in the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour, whether for the Chiefs, All Blacks or Maori All Blacks.

"It's a magnificent occasion for New Zealand to have them coming here," Kerr-Barlow said.

"I just want to get through a full year without any injuries."

Kerr-Barlow made five appearances for the All Blacks in 2016, as well as five appearances in last year's World Cup triumph.

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