As previously reported by RugbyPass, word on the street was that Goodhue’s future would be in France and the All Black himself confirmed there was an offer on the table on this week’s Aotearoa Rugby Pod episode. At that point, details were being finalized but the pen has since been put to paper on the deal.
It was 2017 when Goodhue made his Crusaders debut, the same year that the club’s historic title run began. By 2019, Goodhue was partnered with Anton Lienert-Brown in the starting midfield at the Rugby World Cup.
An unfortunate run of injuries has plagued the 28-year-old’s career since, but he’ll have at least one more game in a black jersey before heading overseas, having been selected in the All Blacks XV squad.
“Playing for the Crusaders and the All Blacks has literally been a dream come true for me,” Goodhue said.
“Being a part of the Crusaders family, playing 81 games in the jersey, representing New Zealand on the biggest stages, it’s been awesome.
“But the time has come for me to take up a new adventure in an exciting competition in France.
“My wife Sophia and I are excited to experience a new culture, language and environment.”
Just like we had to with the mullet in 2020 today we say goodbye to Jack Goodhue as he heads to France in 2024 👊🏼
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) June 29, 2023
The departure doesn’t exactly leave the Crusaders without options in the midfield. David Havili, Braydon Ennor and Dallas McLeod are all current All Blacks with Moana Pasifika bruiser Levi Aumua joining the squad in 2024.
That’s a problem Scott Robertson won’t have to deal with as the coach also departs the team in 2024. Having coached Goodhue for his entire playing career with the Crusaders, Robertson was very complimentary in his farewell comments, saying Goodhue “epitomised everything we champion as a team and an organisation.
“Jack’s one of the best defensive centres in the world.
“He’s tough, he can square people up on attack, his running lines are exceptional and his general game understanding is really special.
“He’s a great man, an incredible professional and a world-class player. Jack’s given a lot to this club and we’re going to miss him.”