Joe Marchant to leave Harlequins for Super Rugby sabbatical
By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 10/11/19 7:59am
England centre Joe Marchant will join the Auckland Blues on a six-month deal next year, as part of a sabbatical clause written into his Harlequins contract.
The 23-year-old will link up with the Super Rugby side between January and June 2020 before returning to the Stoop.
He said: "Firstly, I could not be more grateful to Harlequins for allowing me this opportunity to expand and grow my game.
"The club has supported me every step of the way in my career to date and proven that Harlequins is still willing to support my growth as an individual.
"I am really excited to be given the chance to experience playing in Super Rugby. I am sure that I will learn a lot and I can't wait to bring my learnings back to the club."
Marchant will cover Caleb Clarke for the Blues following his move to join the New Zealand rugby sevens programme ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next summer.
The centre played in three of England's warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup, but was not part of the 31-man squad that reached the final in Japan.
The Blues endured a poor 2019 campaign, finishing bottom of the New Zealand conference and 13th in the 15-team Super Rugby competition.
However, they have high hopes for the new season after signing Beauden Barrett from the Hurricanes on a long-term deal.