New Zealand Rugby
Brett refuses to rule out a move north
September 19, 2008
Brett could join the exodus of leading New Zealand players © Getty Images
Canterbury and Crusaders five-eighth Stephen Brett has not ruled out joining the talent drain north after being linked with a move to Tana Umaga's French rugby club Toulon.
A report on TV3 last night linked the 22-year-old to a potential shift to Europe and Brett responded by telling the Christchurch Press newspaper he had "spoken to a few people" about playing overseas.
The television report suggested Brett, who is off contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union at the end of the year, would pursue an overseas contract if he failed to make the All Blacks' November tour to Hong Kong, Great Britain and Ireland.
Brett denied that claim but was non-commital about his future. "I've just got to keep these things close to myself," he said.
Brett is the logical choice to replace Daniel Carter as the Crusaders first five-eighth when the All Blacks' star joins Perpignan on a six-month deal in December. Before this year's test programme Brett was touted as a potential midfield replacement for Aaron Mauger and Luke McAlister though he was eventually overlooked for Ma'a Nonu and Carter's back-up Stephen Donald.
Brett's stocks started to fall in the latter stages of the Crusaders march to their seventh Super rugby title in May when Robbie Deans preferred to play Tim Bateman outside Carter. He ended up playing for New Zealand Maori, alongside Bateman.
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success
We bring you our pick of the best pictures from around the world in the last seven days with the battle for Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup glory taking centre stage
"If you listen carefully you should be able to hear them mining the granite for the statue of a certain Jonny Wilkinson" Graham Jenkins reports from the Heineken Cup Final
Quade Cooper's defence is better than it was 12 months ago and Robbie Deans has erred in omitting him from the core Wallabies squad to play the Lions, Greg Growden writes