The predicted All Blacks exodus after the 2019 Rugby World Cup could include Waisake Naholo.
The powerful winger‘s contract with New Zealand Rugby expires at the end of 2019, and he has been linked with a move to England.
RugbyPass is reporting that both Wasps and London Irish are interested in Naholo‘s services, with the 27-year-old having fallen slightly down the pecking order after a mixed season with the All Blacks in 2018.
Naholo will need a strong Super Rugby season with the Highlanders to get a significant role at the World Cup. With Rieko Ioane seemingly having one wing on lock, Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett impressing at various points of the international season on the wing, and George Bridge emerging, competition for places will be fierce.
And, after the World Cup, Naholo may look for a lucrative overseas option, and second-tier team London Irish have reportedly emerged as challengers to Wasps for his signature.
London Irish currently have New Zealanders Terrence Hepetema and Mike Coman under contract, but Naholo could link up with a familiar face if Wasps present an alluring offer, with former Highlanders and All Blacks teammate Lima Sopoaga currently running the cutter for the Coventry-based side.
Of course, Naholo has famously been in this situation before – agreeing to sign in France in 2015, before emerging as an All Blacks contender and backing out of the deal.
This time, any suitors will be hoping for a more straightforward process as they look to potentially add Naholo to their mix.