Newly crowned World Rugby player of the year Ardie Savea said Friday that he wanted to "try something new" and test himself after moving to Japan's big-spending league.

The All Blacks loose forward has signed for Kobe Steelers on a one-season deal that means he will not miss any games for his country.

Savea joins New Zealand teammate Brodie Retallick at Kobe and said he was "very excited" ahead of the Japan Rugby League One opener on Dec. 9.