Tim Bateman puts family first

It was a difficult decision, but one he made for his family.

Tim's wife Laura was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year and he says with limited treatment options here in NZ, the decision to return to Japan was a no brainer.

Tim and his family will return to Fukuoka and to the Coca Cola club where he played in 2011. He's again signed for two seasons with the intention of coming back to NZ.

Tim has gone from strength to strength in recent years after returning from his first stint in Japan and joining the Hurricanes in 2012 where he became an instrumental part of the backline.

Tim debuted for the Māori All Blacks in 2008 but it was last year's tour to Canada and America where he captained the side that he remembers fondly but Tim's decision to head across to Japan will make him unavailable for selection for the Maori All Blacks this year.

So with all major decisions, there are some sacrifices, but Tim's family is his priority.