New Zealand centre Casey Laulala leaving Blues for Munster

New Zealand centre Casey Laulala will be leaving Cardiff Blues at the end of the season to join Munster.

Laulala, who played for Crusaders in the Super 14, has agreed a two-year contract with the Irish province.

He joined the Blues in 2009 and has scored 14 tries in his 58 appearances for the club.

"This is a fresh challenge for me. Hopefully the Munster welcome will be as warm as the one I experienced here in Cardiff," said the 29-year-old.

"Munster are a successful team so I am looking forward to joining them and experiencing life in Ireland.

"However, there is still a lot of rugby to be played this season and I am fully focused on doing well for the Blues."

Laulala is the second major signing by Munster this week, following the capture of another centre, James Downey from Northampton, for next season.

Thirty-year-old Dublin-born Downey will be returning to the team where he started his career.