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Kiwi Exiles: The Top 5 All Blacks Plying Their Trade In Europe Today

New Zealand rugby is on top of the world right now and seems to always dominate generally anyway. They’ve won multiple Rugby Championships, World Cups and their clubs dominate Super Rugby.

To play for the All Blacks, you have to play for one of the five New Zealand-based teams. This has lead to the majority of the players staying put but many have ventured out into the world in more recent years. Europe has been the destination for many Kiwis, thanks to the offer of high wages, so here are the top five All Blacks in Europe.

Ma’a Nonu

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 10:  Ma'a Nonu of Toulon leaves the field dejected following his side's defeat during the European Rugby Champions Cup Quarter Final between Racing 92 and RC Toulon at Stade Yves Du Manoir on April 10, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Despite not hitting the heights we usually associate Ma’a Nonu with, nobody can doubt his brilliance. The inside centre is one half of one the greatest centre partnerships there has or ever will be.

His physicality, speed and technical skills makes it impossible for his opponents. In his second season at Toulon, Nonu will be hoping that Mike Ford can reenergise their back line. Supposing the All Blacks centre can be given the ball more, Toulon are likely to become of Europe’s greatest force once again.

Dan Carter

LYON, FRANCE - MAY 14:  Dan Carter of Racing 92 looks on during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Racing 92 and Saracens at Stade de Lyon on May 14, 2016 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

It is impossible to argue with the inclusion of Dan Carter in this list as he’s regarded by some as the best player to have ever played the game.

Racing 92’s fly-half led them to domestic glory and an agonising runners up spot in the Champions Cup. With his pinpoint kicking, glorious awareness and ridiculous range of passing he’s the best fly half in the league by a country mile.

Conrad Smith

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31:  Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia and Conrad Smith of New Zealand challenge for the ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The other half of that world class centre partnership is, of course, Conrad Smith. Pau’s outside centre is a key part in their team and creates chance after chance.

He has such a wide range of skills that he can just win games on his own. After making new signings this summer, Smith will be fancying Pau’s chances for the upcoming campaign.

Charles Piutau

Ulster Rugby Squad Training, Kindspan Stadium, Belfast 1/9/2016 Charles Piutau Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Brian Little

The only man in the list to be in the form of their life – and playing outside of the Top 14 – is Charles Piutau. Last season, he deserved player of the season if it wasn’t for Alex Goode.

His ability to catch a high ball, run and beat the defenders while also being strong in defence make him a great player to have in your side. Ulster will be relishing the opportunity to unleash the beast this season. Keep an eye of the top try scorer this season because there’s no doubt Piutau will be up there!

Victor Vito

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 06:  Victor Vito of the Hurricanes celebrates after the Hurricanes won the 2016 Super Rugby Final match between the Hurricanes and the Lions at Westpac Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Simon Watts/Getty Images)

La Rochelle’s new signing has led the side to the top of the Top 14. Victor Vito knows what it’s like to win a domestic competition as he is off the back of winning the Super Rugby title.

He was tremendous in the Super Rugby final and La Rochelle will be eager to see him replicate that. Vito is one of those players that are so good they could play in the backs or the forwards because of his ball skills.

Patrick Perry, Pundit Arena

Recommended Read: Which Team Will Finally Bring The All Blacks’ Incredible Winning Run To An End?

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.