Thursday, February 26, 2009
Former All Black Luke McAlister to return to NZ rugby in May 2009...
Former All Black Luke McAlister to leave English club, Sale and return to NZ in May 2009 - could replace Dan Carter this season:
All Blacks' backs coach Wayne Smith wants Luke McAlister rushed straight back into the squad when he returns to New Zealand in May.
The 25-year-old has signed on with the NZRU through until 2012 and will leave English club Sale at the end of this season. McAlister has cited a desire to be closer to his family for his decision to return.
Smith says it is great news. He says McAlister should be given dispensation to play international rugby without having to play in the Air New Zealand Cup first.
"My personal view is that if he signed a long term contract to be here playing then it would be enough for me, but I don't make those decisions."
Smith says McAlister will be taking a big hit financially, which shows his commitment to playing in New Zealand.
Former All Black first five Grant Fox is thrilled with McAlister's decision.
"He's still a young man. I guess he's done his OE and he's got good reasons to come home and making that commitment to New Zealand rugby till 2012. It's just good - at a time when the game I love's got a few issues - this is good news."
Fox is also a member of the Blues board and hopes McAlister signs for the franchise. He will make a decision on which province he will play for when he returns to New Zealand.
Sale of the Century
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