Richie Mo’unga’s MIND-BOGGLING club trophy haul after ending Toshiba Brave Lupus’ 14-year drought

Jared Wright
All Blacks, Crusaders and Toshiba Brave Lupus fly-half Richie Mo'unga.

Richie Mo'unga just can't stop winning!

All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga has added the Japan Rugby League One title to his incredible longlist of club titles.

Mo’unga headed to Japan following the 2023 Rugby World Cup, signing a three-year deal with Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo, and has had an immediate impact.

Prior to the playmaker’s arrival, the Brave Lupus had not won a JRLO – or its predecessor, the Top League – in 14 long years.

Mo’unga ends Toshiba Brave Lupus’ 14-year wait

The 30-year-old played a pivotal role throughout his debut season in the Land of the Rising Sun, and facing the daunting prospect of taking on the unbeaten Saitama Wild Knights in the final, he did not flinch, orchestrating Robbie Deans’ charges downfall as the Brave Lupus emerged 24-20 victors.

For his efforts, Mo’unga was crowned the Japan Rugby League One MVP of the season.

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The win over the Wild Knights means that Mo’unga has now won his 12th domestic trophy – seven in succession.

Mo’unga clinched his first trophy back in 2013 under Scott Robertson in the latter’s debut season as Canterbury’s head coach in the NPC, then the Mitre 10 Cup.

He did not feature in the 2013 final of the NPC but did two years later, as Canterbury claimed their second title under Robertson when they edged Auckland 25-23.

Canterbury went on to complete the three-peat, beating Tasman 43-27 in 2016 and the same opposition 35-13 in 2017, with Mo’unga starting both finals.

2017 was a particularly memorable year for Mo’unga, who played a starring role for the Crusaders as they ended a nine-year wait for Super Rugby success, defeating the Lions 25-17 at Ellis Park Stadium in the final.

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The brilliant playmaker repeated those efforts in 2018, inspiring the Crusaders to a 37-18 win over the Lions in the Super Rugby final and completed a three-peat of titles in 2019, beating the Jaguares 19-3.

The next two years, he again played a key role for the Crusaders, who won back-to-back Super Rugby Aotearoa titles. Mo’unga and the Crusaders only failed to win Super Rugby Trans Tasman in 2021 due to a smaller points difference tally compared to the finalists, the Blues and Highlanders, despite winning all of their matches.

In the debut Super Rugby Pacific season, Mo’unga starred yet again, steering the Crusaders to the final of the competition as they continued their remarkable run under Robertson, defeating the Blues 21-7 in the final.


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Richie Mo’unga’s club trophy-haul

Canterbury NPC titles: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
Crusaders Super Rugby titles: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Toshiba Brave Lupus Japan Rugby League One titles: 2023/24