Blackie back for 2009 Super 14
October 10, 2008
Blackie is set for a return to Auckland next year © Getty Images
New Zealand flanker Josh Blackie is returning to New Zealand and will be available for next year's rugby Super 14.
Blackie, 29, is currently playing for Kobe Steel in Japan but has signed a two-year contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Auckland Rugby Union, and will be available for selection for the Blues squad for 2009.
The Junior All Black, New Zealand Sevens player and former Highlanders and Otago captain played 55 games for the Highlanders and 73 for Otago before heading to Japan last year.
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said Blackie's return was fantastic news for New Zealand rugby. "As New Zealand rugby fans know, Josh is an outstanding rugby player and his return will certainly provide a boost for the Blues and Auckland, and for New Zealand rugby overall," Tew said.
Blackie's agent Warren Alcock said although Blackie had previously played his rugby for Otago and the Highlanders, he had opted to return to Auckland because that was where he grew up and still has family.
Blackie will return to New Zealand early next year at the end of the Japanese season.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14