Kobelco Steelers Sign Former All Black Duo
Japanese Top League side Kobelco Steelers have confirmed the double signing of former All Blacks Duo Aaron Cruden and Ben Smith. It had been rumoured, that the two would be joining the exciting top flight of Japanese rugby and now it has been confirmed. The join a host of top quality players to join the league, for the next season. The pair will link up with their new side in time for the January 2021 kick off.
The Kobelco Steelers are the current reigning champs, after winning the title in 2019. The 2020 season was abandoned, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. They were led to that 2019 title by another former All Blacks star, Dan Carter. Aaron Cruden will be used to following in DC’s footsteps and will hope to guide the side to another title. The Fly Half is due to play his 100th game for the Chiefs in Round 8 of Super Rugby Aotearoa. The 2011 World Cup Winner, still has plenty to offer and his face off with Beauden Barrett’s Suntory Sungoliath will be some spectacle.
Ben Smith will join the side from French Top 14 side Pau. The 84 cap All Black, is the sixth highest try scorer in New Zealand history. The 2015 World Cup winner, covers a number of positions and will be an excellent option for the Japanese side. They recently lost Full Back Kotaro Matsushima to Top 14 side Clermon Auvergne, so Smith will be an ideal replacement.