Sam Whitelock: All Blacks lock to bid New Zealand farewell and join Top 14 side Pau after the Rugby World Cup – report

Jared Wright
All Blacks and Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock is set to leave New Zealand and join a Top 14 club Pau after the Rugby World Cup

All Blacks and Crusaders second-row Sam Whitelock is set to leave New Zealand and sign for Top 14 outfit Pau after the Rugby World Cup.

The 34-year-old stalwart notched up his 350th first-class game recently and could finish his career in France if reports are to be believed.

Linking up with his brother

Whitelock has spent most of his career plying his trade with the Crusaders. His only stint away from the side was in 2020, when he had a brief sabbatical with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan.

According to reports in France, Whitelock is set to join his brother Luke Whitelock at Top 14 side Pau after the global tournament.

Local media state that the deal is close to being finalised. Pau are currently ranked 12th on the Top 14 standings.

It is believed that he was not short of offers in France but has opted for the same side his young brother represents.

The brothers played with the Crusaders and Canterbury in the past and donned the All Blacks jersey together in 2018.

They are not the only All Blacks who have represented Pau, with Conrad Smith, Collin Slade, Ben Smith and Carl Hayman all playing for the club in the past.

All Blacks and Crusaders legend

The Super Rugby and All Blacks centurion has won four Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders.

He won the Rugby World Cup with New Zealand in 2011 and 2015, also claiming seven Tri Nations/Rugby Championship titles.

Whitelock captained the All Blacks in the Autumn Nations Series. He edged closer to Richie McCaw’s record (148) for most appearances for New Zealand, earning his 143rd Test cap.

Although he is entering the twilight of his career, he is still producing standout performances for the All Blacks. He could be a real asset to New Zealand, especially from a leadership perspective. 

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