Ben Smith to join Pau post 2019 World Cup

Ben Smith has played 76 Tests for New Zealand
Ben Smith has played 76 Tests for New Zealand
©PA

New Zealand international Ben Smith has confirmed that he will head to French club Pau post the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Smith, who was part of New Zealand's victorious 2015 World Cup campaign has featured for the All Blacks 76 times in which he amassed 33 tries.

The 32-year-old, who also has been the vice-captain of New Zealand side made his professional rugby debut with Otago in 2007 with his Super Rugby debut for Highlanders coming in 2009.

According to reports, it is understood that Smith will join a Japanese club in 2020 following the Top 14 season which also means his chances of featuring All Blacks again appear dim with him plying trade overseas.

"It's a great satisfaction. He will have an impact on the squad and considering his calibre it will allow him to help our youngsters," Pau president Bernard Pontneau told French broadcaster RMC Sport.

Meanwhile, Smith's team-mate Ardie Savea has backed out of a deal to play for Pau after the Rugby World Cup despite agreeing in principle to a three-year deal during the recent November series.

"It is for certain that he will not be coming," Pontneau said.

"It's disappointing, but it's also the risk you take when wanting to recruit a young player."

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