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Under the terms of the deal announced today, Retallick will leave New Zealand at the end of the year and play two seasons in Japan's Top League in 2020 and 2021, with an extended family break in between. He will then return to rugby in New Zealand in May 2021 and play through to the end of the 2023 season.
A Rugby World Cup 2015 winner and the New Zealand and World Player of The Year in 2014, 28-year-old Retallick is now into his eighth season of professional rugby and been a powerhouse player ever since making his professional debut as a 21 year old in 2012. He played his 75th Test in the last game of 2018 and is the latest of a number of leading players who have committed long-term to New Zealand Rugby.
Retallick said: "It has been a big decision to make, but I'm grateful to be able to have the opportunity to head over to Japan and experience not just the rugby but for my family and to be immersed in another culture.
"I've been playing high-octane rugby with the Gallagher Chiefs and All Blacks since 2012, and while I've loved every minute of it and my workload has been managed well, I've decided to give my body a break from the New Zealand game, so that ultimately I can extend my career here.
"I'm lucky enough to work with a great group of people in both the Chiefs and All Blacks – they're two teams I love to play for – so I look forward to returning in 2021."
Retallick said he has also re-signed with Hawke's Bay Rugby.
"Even though I haven't played for the 'Mighty Magpies' for a few years, I do want to acknowledge my connections to Hawke's Bay and thank them as well for their support."