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World Cup-winner Donald to make Japan switch

AFP-JIJI

New Zealand fly-half Stephen Donald will leave Bath at the end of the season to move to Japanese team Mitsubishi Dynaboars.

Former Waikato star Donald joined Bath in November 2011, shortly after kicking the winning penalty as the All Blacks beat France in the World Cup final, and has become a key player in his 31 appearances for the English Premiership club.

But despite having a year left on his contract, Donald has agreed to join Mitsubishi, who counted former Wales wing Shane Williams and ex-England fly-half Dave Walder among their squad last season.

“I’ve had a great time with Bath, but feel it is time for a new challenge in a new league,” Donald said on Monday.

“I’d like to thank everyone at the club and all the Bath supporters for all the support during my time here, and I’m really looking forward to doing all I can to help us end this season on a high.”

Head coach Gary Gold added: “Steve is a good footballer and is a great character to have around. He has brought a lot of experience to the squad in the last couple of years, and we wish him all the best of luck in Japan next season.”