Tyler Bleyendaal signed by Munster

Getty Images     12 May 2014     Getty Images

Bleyendaal, who played his 20th game for the Crusaders in Brisbane this evening, said it was a tough decision to make but the timing seemed right to earn some overseas experience.

“I love playing for Canterbury and the Crusaders so it was never going to be easy to make the decision to play rugby for someone else. But when the opportunity came up to play for Munster I couldn’t pass it by. This is a club with such a proud history and it is a brilliant opportunity for me to gain some international experience,” Bleyendaal said.

“I am grateful to all of the players and coaches that I have been fortunate enough to work with here and I am fully committed to the Crusaders and Canterbury for their 2014 seasons.”

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder said Bleyendaal’s move would be a real loss to the Crusaders: “Tyler is a talented player with an incredible brain. He has one of the best rugby brains I’ve ever come across and that will take him far. We will be sad to see him go but we respect and support his decision and wish him all the best.”

Canterbury Head Coach Scott Robertson said Bleyendaal will be sorely missed by everyone at Canterbury Rugby: “Tyler is a fantastic player but also just such a decent guy. His teammates, coaches and team management all hold him in high regard and I know they will all want to see him do well wherever he plays. We are fortunate to have Tyler for another ITM Cup season before he departs and we’ll all be hoping to make it a special one for him.”

Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said it would be sad for both teams to lose a player of this calibre: “Tyler has been involved in the Canterbury and Crusaders squads since 2011 and is a valuable member of both. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours and hope that he will continue to call this home and return here one day.”

Bleyendaal’s contract with Munster begins in November this year and runs through to June 2017.