Stephen Donald's future uncertain

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James Mortimer     18 Jul 2011     Getty Images

A technicality has seen his move to England fall through.

Donald had to apply for a work permit and it appears that without the issuing by the necessary authorities, his shift to Europe will not occur.

With no ancestral links to the United Kingdom, Donald could have been granted a permit if he had started for the All Blacks in the last 18 months. He was not named in the 2011 test squad, and came off the bench in his three recent appearances (Australia, Scotland and Wales) for New Zealand, preventing the automatic issue of a permit.

While earlier in the season Donald was linked to Japanese clubs, the 27-year-old has expressed a desire to play at the highest level, and will likely remain in New Zealand.

Initial reports in the Sunday Star Times had linked him to the Blues for 2012, but Auckland Rugby chief executive Andy Dalton said today the Blues have not signed the 82-game Investec Super Rugby playmaker.

Dalton spoke to Radio Sport and said no such deal had occurred.

The Blues have signed recent Junior World Championship winning first five-eighth Gareth Anscombe for the 2012 season, but with Stephen Brett and Luke McAlister departing, Donald could potentially be a good fit for this season’s Super Rugby Semi-Finalists.