12th December 02:18 AM
Sopoaga is leaving NZ for English side Wasps
By Lena Reece
Wednesday 10/01/2018
All Blacks and Highlanders first‑five eighth Lima Sopoaga

All Blacks and Highlanders first‑five eighth Lima Sopoaga is reportedly heading to England at the end of the year.

The 26‑year‑old has signed a two‑year deal with English Premiership side Wasps, effectively ruling him out of next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Sopoaga has played 16 tests for the All Blacks, including his debut match against South Africa in 2015, and a lack of game time no doubt swayed his decision to leave New Zealand.

The news comes a week after Sopoaga posted a cryptic post on his Instagram account, a photo of family photos accompanied by the caption: "H O M E ‑ A place where your feet may leave but your heart will always be."

Sopoaga's move is a significant blow to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's World Cup plans.

Meanwhile, Hurricanes captain and flanker Brad Shields, who could go on to play for England, will also join the Wasps.

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