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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Cardiff Blues sign All Black Rush
Xavier Rush (left)
All Blacks number eight and Auckland Blues captain Xavier Rush has joined Cardiff Blues on a three-year deal.

Rush, 27, made his New Zealand debut in 1998 and last played against South Africa in August last year.

He is likely to face the Lions with Auckland on 5 July before heading to Wales for the new season.

"We identified Xavier's many qualities as a player and leader and were keen to complete negotiations with him," said Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young.

"He is an extremely focused competitor who has the necessary experience, but is still a young man with a tremendous appetite and enthusiasm for the game."

Rush follows New Zealand stars Carlos Spencer, Justin Marshall and Dave Hewett in signing European contracts for next season.

Reuben Thorne, Andrew Mehrtens and Norm Maxwell are also considering offers, while All Blacks Kees Meeuws (France), Simon Maling and Troy Flavell (Japan) and Brad Thorn (Australia, rugby league) have left the country in the past year.




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