Ranby decided to switch to Japan

Waikato and Chiefs midfielder Mark Ranby will sever his ties with New Zealand rugby after signing with a Japanese club.

The New Zealand Rugby Union and Waikato Rugby Union have agreed to release the former All Black from his contracts so he can join his new club after the Super 14.

The name of the Japanese club could not be revealed as contractual details were still to be confirmed.

Ranby, 28, played a solitary test against Samoa in 2001, while he made his first-class debut for Manawatu in 1996.

He has played 39 games for Waikato and 71 games for the Chiefs.