One of New Zealand rugby's most exciting rising stars, Richie Mo'unga joins the Crusaders for his fifth season. He joined the squad as a Wider Training Group member in 2015, but debuted in 2016 after the departure of Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor, and went on to start in every match of that season.
It has been a rapid rise for the young back - Mo'unga went from three years in the St Andrew's College First XV directly into senior club rugby for Linwood RFC, and later that same year he was debuting for the Canterbury provincial team, when he was brought in as injury and All Black cover and impressed with a 27 point haul (1 try, 8 conversions, 2 penalties) and man of the match honours in his first game. Mo'unga was also selected for the NZ Under 20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championship in 2014.
A superb 2017 season for the Crusaders saw Mo'unga called in the All Blacks squad as temporary first-five cover in October that year. Having just played a starring role in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership win for Canterbury, including two remarkable individual tries and a new record for the number of points scored in a provincial Final, Mo'unga again joined the All Blacks during the French leg of their end of year tour.
Following injury which saw him sidelined for half of the 2018 Super Rugby season, he came back for an outstanding campaign which included a Man of the Match performance in the Final. His impressive season saw him named as an All Black for 2018 and he now has 17 Test caps to his name, including five appearances in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.