Richard Kahui announcement today

00:08, Feb 13 2013

The Chiefs are expected to make an announcement about the future of star midfielder Richard Kahui this afternoon following reports he is close to signing a lucrative deal to play rugby in Japan.

Coach Dave Rennie would not confirm the claims when contacted by the Times this morning.

The past 12 months have been challenging for the 27-year-old who missed much of the international season last year due to a shoulder reconstruction.

It is understood Kahui would remain with the Chiefs for the Super 15 season until he comes off contract at the end of the year.

A Japanese deal would rule him out of All Black contention leaving a large hole in the depth of midfield talent for selectors.

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