BEST RETENTIONS

AF­TER SEE­ING A NUM­BER OF WANTED,

NZ Rugby World - - The Breskdown -

reg­u­lar All Blacks de­cided to sign with o shore clubs ear­lier in the year, New Zealand Rugby has an­nounced that a raft of play­ers have ex­tended their con­tracts.

Ryan Crotty, Scott Bar­rett and Ofa Tu’un­gafasi have all re-com­mit­ted to New Zealand. Crotty has signed un­til 2019, Bar­rett un­til 2020 and Tu’un­gafasi un­til 2021.

While NZR is cel­e­brat­ing the de­ci­sion by all three to stay, it is the sig­na­ture of Crotty that was the hard­est to get and the most sig­nif­i­cant.

The 29-year-old mid­fielder has be­come an in­te­gral part of the All Blacks and is in de­mand around the world. He had o ers to leave and with the likes of Nagni Laumape, An­ton Lienert-Brown and Jack Good­hue all push­ing hard to break into the All Blacks’ mid­field, Crotty could have been tempted to leave be­fore the World Cup.

But he said: “I took the time to con­sider my op­tions, and it was clear to me that I still want to be play­ing my rugby here in New Zealand.

“2019 will be my 11th sea­son with the Cru­saders, but I still feel as pas­sion­ate and en­thu­si­as­tic as I did when my ca­reer be­gan. I’m thor­oughly en­joy­ing my time in this team and love turn­ing up to work ev­ery day along­side great mates, so whether I am rep­re­sent­ing the All Blacks, Cru­saders or Can­ter­bury, I still have plenty of de­sire to play my best rugby for each of them and I look for­ward to be­ing a part of these teams for the re­main­der of this sea­son and in 2019.”

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