Matt Proctor could have been '50 or 60-cap All Black', says Hurricanes boss

The Hurricanes say that they are disappointed, but ultimately understanding over centre Matt Proctor's decision to leave the club for English Premiership side Northampton Saints.

One-Test All Black Proctor, 26, was today announced as the Saints' newest signing, with the centre to reunite with former coach Chris Boyd in England.

With Proctor seemingly so far down the pecking order of the All Blacks' midfield options, it is unlikely that Proctor's departure will be felt by Steve Hansen's side, but Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee says that it's that strength that may haunt New Zealand's playing stocks.

"Clearly the financial offer is significant and a big part of it, but if he was an established All Black I don't think he'd be doing the same thing," Lee told Stuff.

"I've been in touch with Matt myself and said that we're really disappointed that you are going but we respect the decision and understand his reasons."

Lee also said that Proctor's departure merely highlights the depth of the All Blacks' options, and that the Hurricanes star could have been a Test regular if he stayed in New Zealand.

"He would have loved to have played more games for New Zealand and been a core All Black, but there's a lot of talent around in that position.

"He could have signed on for one more year and seen what happens beyond the World Cup, but clearly he's got an offer in front of him that he's decided to accept.

"I'm not critical of Matt Proctor. I would have loved to have seen him stay longer at the Hurricanes and become a 50 or 60-cap All Black because we genuinely think he's that good."

Proctor will leave New Zealand for Northampton at the end of this season's Super Rugby competition.

Proctor joined the Hurricanes' 50-match club earlier this season.
Matt Proctor Source: Photosport