Crusaders move for Aussie half-back

James Gordon

Crusaders have shrugged aside their off-field problems to sign Australian half-back Michael Witt.

Witt, 25, had been playing rugby union in New Zealand with Otago, having switched codes in March this year with the aim of representing the All Blacks.

He previously played in the NRL for Parramatta, Manly and New Zealand Warriors, making 90 appearances, scoring 23 tries.

A competent goalkicker, Witt moves to Crusaders at a time where their long term home remains uncertain. They are yet to confirm a venue for all but one of their home games in 2010.

New head coach Brian Noble signed Hull hooker Tommy Lee last week, while Kiwi winger Matthew Utai is also widely rumoured to have made the move to Wales.