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Levave leaving Hurricanes for Japan

Friday, May 23, 2014

Update: 10:40AM Flanker Faifili Levave is the third Hurricanes player to announce his departure for Japan at the end of the Super Rugby season.

Samoan international Levave has signed a two-year contract with the Toyota Verblitz club starting in August.

Fullback Andre Taylor and midfield back Tim Bateman have recently announced deals in Japan.

Two other Samoan internationals in the Hurricanes squad are heading to Europe - flanker Jack Lam (Bristol) and utility back Alapati Leiua (London Wasps).

Levave, 28, played for a Japanese second division club for six months in 2012.

At his new club he will effectively be a replacement for another powerful loose forward, Jerome Kaino, who has returned to New Zealand.

He will be coached by another notable loose forward, former All Black Filo Tiatia.

Levave told Fairfax Media he was sad to leave New Zealand rugby and hopes to end his fifth season at the Hurricanes - who are currently eighth - on a high by qualifying for the playoffs.

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