Chiefs give Hosea Gear a World Cup chance
Former All Blacks wing Hosea Gear is quitting northern hemisphere rugby and heading to the Chiefs in a bid to play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Gear, 30, has signed a one-year contract with the Chiefs to play in next year's Super Rugby competition as he makes a bid to return to the international stage and challenges again for a World Cup wing spot.
The big winger, who scored two tries in the Barbarians' 39-29 win over an England XV at Twickenham a couple of months ago was a regular starter for Toulouse in the French Top 14 in the 2013-14 season and recently moved to Japan to take up a one-season contract with Honda, which ends early next February.
Having gone to Toulouse from the Highlanders as a medical joker for the injured Vincent Clerc, who is fit again, Gear decided not to take up the option for an extra year on his contract, preferring to play the shorter Japanese season before returning home.
He will join forces with midfield back Sonny Bill Williams, the pair expected to bring much-needed size and power to the Chiefs' backline.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said Gear ticked all the boxes for them.
"He's a good man, very professional and experienced," said Rennie.
"He's also a hell of a player, powerful, quick and a quality finisher. We are really looking forward to working with Hosea next season."
The dynamic back is looking forward to returning to New Zealand rugby.
"I'd like to thank the Chiefs for giving me the opportunity to return to New Zealand and be a part of their goals and the team for the season ahead," Gear said.
"I'm looking forward to playing in my home country again in front of New Zealand supporters, family and friends, and being involved in the great Chiefs culture that I've heard much about."
Chiefs chief executive officer Andrew Flexman believes Gear's signing is an important one for the club.
"Hosea is a class act who will add a great deal of value to the Chiefs family in all areas which is why we were so keen to have him in our club."
Gisborne-born Gear has played 14 tests for the All Blacks, represented the Maori All Blacks, the New Zealand Sevens team (winning a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in 2010) and New Zealand Under-21 and U-19.
He has played Super Rugby for both the Highlanders and Hurricanes and provincial rugby for Poverty Bay, North Harbour and Wellington.