Craig Clarke: 'It's time for my new wife and I to go on a
bit of an adventure.'
Chiefs co-captain Craig Clarke will head offshore at the
end of the Super 15 season to continue his rugby career in
The 29-year-old has signed with the Irish club Connacht for
three seasons. He will link up with former Blues coach Pat
Lam at the club.
Clarke is the second Chiefs player in a matter of weeks to
announce a move after All Black Richard Kahui signalled his
departure for Toshiba for Japan.
Lock Clarke has played 57 games for the Chiefs including
leading the side to their first Super 15 title last season.
"I was planning on leaving a few years ago but under the new
management I was really enjoying it so I decided to stay.
"Then we won the competition, so I wanted to stick around and
have a crack at defending the title.
"I've had some great highlights in New Zealand rugby
including winning the Investec Super Rugby title and the
Ranfurly Shield with Taranaki, but now it's time for my new
wife and I to go on a bit of an adventure."
Chiefs' coach Dave Rennie said "Craig's impeccable standards
on and off the field have helped raise the bar in this
"He is a passionate Chiefs man and was a massive part of the
success we had last season.
His leadership, his work ethic and his attention to detail
have continued to impress me.
"We'll miss him, but it's a great opportunity for Craig and
Veree and we wish them all the best."
Clarke will not be available for ITM Cup this year for his
provincial side Taranaki.
The Chiefs kick off their Super 15 campaign this Friday
against the Highlanders in Dunedin.