Ex-NZ star Jack returns to Super 14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-NZ star Jack returns to Super 14

By David Beniuk 04/06/2009 07:40:07 PM Comments (0)

Former All Black Chris Jack says he's returning to the Super 14 because he doesn't want to play "easy rugby" in the northern hemisphere.

Capped 67 times for the All Blacks, Jack played two seasons for Saracens in the English premiership under former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.

He will return to the Crusaders in 2010 via Saturday's Barbarians-Wallabies clash and a stint with South Africa's Western Province in the Currie Cup.

"I'm not going back just to muck around, if I wanted to muck around I would have stayed up there," Jack told reporters on Thursday.

"I want to come back and I want to play well. If I wanted to play easy rugby I would have stayed in the northern hemisphere."

Asked his main reason for returning from Europe, Jack said: "I wanted to play good rugby here and I want to play challenging rugby and I want to enjoy it.

"The premiership gets a bit tough after a while of the same sort of stuff so it's good to play some rugby that's enjoyable and like-minded."

Jack was named at lock for the Barbarians this week for the Sydney Football Stadium clash.

His comments are certain to add fuel to the north-south divide in rugby which was recently evident in the debate over the game's experimental laws.

Northern hemisphere commentators have in the past described the Super 14 as lightweight, while some in the southern hemisphere view European rugby as dour and unattractive to fans.

Another returning Kiwi, Luke McAlister, will play his first match in three-and-a-half months opposing Matt Giteau as the Barbarians' five-eighth, a position he said All Blacks selectors were keen to see him in as Dan Carter recovers from an Achilles injury.

"The All Black coaches want me to start getting in the 10 role just to get a bit of a head start on things," McAlister said.

"I'm pretty nervous to be honest, I haven't played much 10 ... Ten's a whole new ball game, a whole different level."

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