BNZ Crusaders vice-captain Matt Todd has re-committed to the club for the 2019 season.

BNZ Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said: “Matt Todd has signed a short term deal with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan, which he will commence at the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season. We are thrilled to confirm that Matt will then return to New Zealand, having re-committed to the BNZ Crusaders and NZR for 2019.”

BNZ Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson said: “Matt is a phenomenal player and this is a great opportunity for him to head over to Japan, experience a different brand of rugby over there, and freshen up ahead of our 2019 season. To have a player of Toddy’s calibre and leadership ability re-commit to the BNZ Crusaders is hugely exciting for us - he’ll bring plenty of great experience to Japanese rugby under Robbie Deans, and we wish him all the best for the upcoming season.”

Todd said: “I am very excited about the opportunity to sign and play for Panasonic Wild Knights. I know they are an extremely successful club who play a great style of rugby, and are also very well coached. My family and I are really looking forward to getting up to Japan and experiencing Ota and the Japanese way of life. I will be returning to the Crusaders and NZR in 2019 and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”