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Blues first five-eighth Stephen Brett today confirmed he will play his rugby in Japan next year after signing a two-year contract with the Toyota Verblitz club.
Brett joined the Blues in 2010 as the starting first five-eighth and spent more time on the field than any other Blues player that year. This season is still going for the Blues, who line up against the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday in a Super 15 semifinal, and Brett said he was thrilled to be playing finals rugby.
"Playing finals rugby with the Blues means a lot in my last year with the team. Having done that with the Crusaders, it's pretty special to me to be doing it again alongside my Blues team-mates."
Brett will play his 31st match for the Blues on Saturday and had 39 caps for the Crusaders and 57 for Canterbury.
Brett's provincial rugby career began in 2005 for Canterbury and the following year he made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders against the Blues.
His first national selection came in 2006 with the New Zealand under-21 team before he was selected in the Junior All Blacks the following year.