Prop Dermody joins flight overseas
Thursday, 3 May 2007
Clarke Dermody has joined the player drain with Southland's All Black prop signing with English club London Irish.
Dermody told The Southland Times yesterday he was leaving New Zealand rugby to take up a two-and-a-half-year contract with the English premiership club starting in November.
The November move means the Stags captain will still be available for All Black selection for the World Cup in France in September and October.
The 27-year-old joins Anton Oliver, Carl Hayman, Filipo Levi and Josh Blackie who will depart the Highlanders after the final round-robin fixture against the Brumbies at Carisbrook on Saturday night.
Dermody said yesterday he and his wife Sarah had been contemplating an overseas move for some time but only recently decided to take the plunge.
The couple's son Carter is just 1 year old and Dermody felt now was the right time to take on the overseas challenge, with their likely return to New Zealand in 2009 giving Carter plenty of time to settle back in before starting school.
Dermody said having to shift his young family from Invercargill to Dunedin every six months for the Super 14 season was also a factor in heading to London, with he and his wife wanting to settle in one place for an extended period.
Dermody admits he was stepping outside his comfort zone leaving New Zealand rugby.
"It is exciting but it's going to be like shifting to a new school. I won't know anyone until I start making a few new mates," he said.
Turning his back on Southland was something which had made the decision that much more stressful, Dermody said.
"Southland rugby's been a huge part of my life and they've done a lot for me."
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:lol: so who's left?