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11 Nov 2009 13:45
Former All Blacks lock Chris Jack will return to Super 14 rugby with the Canterbury Crusaders next year after two years playing for the London club Saracens.
New Zealand’s five Super 14 franchises announced their squads for the 2010 season on Wednesday.
Jack, who played 84 matches for the Crusaders before joining Saracens in 2007, was among the most notable selections. He played the last of his 67 tests for New Zealand at the 2007 World Cup in France.
All Blacks flyhalf Daniel Carter will also return to the Crusaders for the 2010 season after taking a “sabbatical” last year to play for the French club Perpignan.
Carter’s French sojourn ended in January when he damaged an Achilles tendon and was sidelined for seven months.
Canterbury, which has won seven titles in Super 12 or 14 rugby, has also secured young All Blacks winger Zac Guilford, who made an impressive Test debut against Wales at Cardiff last Saturday.
The Auckland Blues, who have made nine changes to their 28-man squad of last season, were the most-changed of the New Zealand teams.
Neil Sorensen, general manager of professional rugby for the New Zealand Rugby Union, said the selection process was difficult because of the amount of talent available.
“The abundance of quality talent has made this a very challenging process,” he said.
“However, it is great that the franchises have worked solidly through this process in a deliberate and professional manner.
“We are delighted with the even spread of this talent across the regions and anticipate strong performances in 2010 for all five squads.”
New Zealand will host the Rugby World Cup in 2011. To be eligible for All Blacks selection, players must be signed with a New Zealand club.—Sapa-AP
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