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

Kerr-Barlow heads for La Rochelle

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/03/2017 Angelo Risso

Chiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow will join a lengthy list of Test stalwarts in French rugby after signing with La Rochelle.

The 25-cap All Black will head to south-western France at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby campaign, making this year's British and Irish Lions tour his last chance to pull on the black jumper.

Melbourne-born Kerr-Barlow, who served as Aaron Smith's understudy in the 2015 World Cup, has signed a three-year deal with Les Corsaires.

Kerr-Barlow, having fallen to third in the Test No.9 pecking order, had reportedly come in for interest from a number of French clubs, including Toulon.

"It was an extremely hard decision to make but I feel it's the right one for my family and myself," the 26-year-old said.

"Ultimately the opportunity to play rugby with La Rochelle and experience the French culture with my family was the right decision for me.

"It has been a privilege to represent my country."

Kerr-Barlow also hoped he could round off his time with the Chiefs with a third Super Rugby crown, having previously won the gong in 2012 and 2013.

He will join fellow ex-Test players Victor Vito and Jason Eaton at La Rochelle, who are currently at the summit of the Top 14 competition.

Chiefs boss Dave Rennie said Kerr-Barlow could be summed up in two words: caring and competitive.

"It's his work ethic and leadership around defence that make him world-class," Rennie said.

"Tawera is in the form of his life [and] we wish him well."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon