Topic: Rugby

Tawera Kerr-Barlow signs with French Top 14 club La Rochelle

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

He's the third Chiefs player this year to leave the Super rugby franchise. 

A press release by the Waikato team this morning confirmed that 26-year-old Kerr-Barlow (Tainui) will not be eligible to play for the Chiefs or the All Blacks after the 2017 Super Rugby season as he heads to France to fulfil a three-year contract in the French competition. The announcement follows only a week after Chief's winger James Lowe announced his end of season departure to play with Irish club, Leinster, and Aaron Cruden confirming earlier this year his three-year deal with French club Montpellier. 

Kerr-Barlow says, “Over the past couple of months I’ve thought long and hard about going overseas. I had really good contact with the Chiefs and the All Blacks throughout the process, but ultimately the opportunity to play rugby with La Rochelle and experience the French culture with my family was the right decision for me. At this point in time, I’m 100% focused on helping the Chiefs to another Super Rugby title and making the best of every moment I have left to play rugby in New Zealand.” 

Kerr-Barlow has played 43 times for the Chiefs since his debut with the side in 2011, he gained 25 caps for the All Blacks since 2012 and two caps with the Māori All Blacks since 2015.