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Gifford weighs Sopoaga exit

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Last updated 05:00, January 14 2018

Lima Sopoaga is headed for England.

OPINION: Lima Sopoaga will head to the Wasps club in England on a three-year contract that should set him and his family up for life.

Good on him. Living in England is hardly a penance, but from a rugby point of view, compared to being an All Black it's a considerable step back. However, as a father, who quite rightly put being at the birth of his daughter Milla in September before a test start in Buenos Aires, the decision is a wise one.

In a purely rugby sense, it does raise some questions.

The inside running to be No 2 to Beauden Barrett definitely rests with Damian McKenzie.

If he stayed could he have become the first choice No.10? Almost certainly not.The stage had been reached, it was clear, where only injury to, or a devastating loss of form by, Beauden Barrett, would propel Sopoaga into the starting position. Of Sopoaga's 16 tests, he's begun just two, against South Africa in 2015, his first test, and against Australia in Brisbane last year.

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