WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All Blacks center Tamati Ellison will rejoin the Japanese club side Ricoh at the end of the current Super Rugby season, adding to New Zealand's concern about a drain of midfield talent.

Ellison first won national selection in 2009, left soon after to play in Japan, but returned last year to win back his All Blacks jersey.

Injury has curtailed his appearances for the Dunedin-based Highlanders this season.

Of the current All Blacks centers, Conrad Smith is injured and Ma'a Nonu out of form. Richard Kahui will play in Japan next season if he overcomes a shoulder injury and Rene Ranger is due to take up a contract in France.

 

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