Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Top League: Todd Clever extends contract with NTT Shining Arcs

Photo NTT
USA Eagles captain Todd Clever has signed a new contract with Japanese club NTT Shining Arcs. The new one year deal will see the North American back-rower remain in Japan for one more year before returning to the USA in early 2015 to prepare for Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Clever has been playing for the NTT Shining Arcs for two seasons. He arrived at the club in 2012 from Japanese rivals Suntory Sungoliath and has enjoyed success with at both clubs. He is the only North American international player in the country as one of  a select group of players in the country who wll be playing at Rugby World Cup 2015 for a country other than Japan. 

In staying for one more year in Japan Clever is to complete five seasons playing in the Asian country. He opted to take the less common route of playing in Japan instead of Europe. Indeed Clever has never played for any European club but does have experience in both New Zealand and South Africa. Clever played for North Harbour in New Zealand´s domestic competition in 2006 and after playing well at Rugby World Cup 2007 he was signed by the Lions to play two seasons of Super Rugby. 

Capped fifty-six times Clever is hunting down the record number of test appearances set by Mike MacDonald. The difference between the players is currently eleven tests and with the USA having another six to play this year Clever could very well overtake MacDonald during Rugby World Cup 2015. Clever made is debut for the USA in 2003 in a pre-Rugby World Cup warm-up fixture against Argentina. 

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