Conrad Smith signs two-year contract with Pau in France
Last Updated: 05/02/15 5:37pm
New Zealand centre Conrad Smith has signed a two-year contract with French second division leaders Pau.
The 33-year-old, who is the most-capped All Blacks centre with 85 caps and was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad, is the third All Blacks player to announce his intention to switch to France after this year's World Cup.
The current Hurricanes captain will be playing alongside compatriot Simon Mannix at Pau who are well-placed for promotion to the Top 14 with a 14-point lead over their promotion rivals.
"I have loved my time playing rugby in New Zealand and really looking forward to what will be my last season here, but it feels like the right time for me move on and try something different," said Smith.
"Having a stint in France will allow me to spend more time as a husband and father, which was the main motivation for me when I made the decision."
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said: "On behalf of the All Blacks, I want to publicly acknowledge the outstanding contribution Conrad has made, and continues to make, to the All Blacks.
"He is a world-class player and leader in our team and we look forward to that continuing this season. We in the All Blacks wish both Conrad and his wife all the very best for their new adventures next season."
All Blacks star fly-half Dan Carter has already said he will quit New Zealand rugby after the World Cup which will be played from September 18 to October 31.
He has signed a three-year contract with Racing-Metro, while Smith’s fellow centre Ma'a Nonu will play two seasons at champions Toulon.