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All Black Ethan Blackadder re-signs with Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Ian Cook - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Crusaders flanker Ethan Blackadder is the latest All Black to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby beyond this year’s World Cup in France.

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The Crusaders confirmed on Tuesday that the nine-Test All Black will remain in New Zealand until 2025 as per his new deal.

Blackadder made his debut for the Super Rugby heavyweights in 2018, and has played a crucial role in their unprecedented success over the last five years.

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The flanker, who was named the Crusaders’ 2022 Player of the Year at their annual awards function, has won five titles in as many years with the Christchurch-based franchise.

Heralded as a future star in New Zealand, Blackadder entered the fray of Test match rugby in 2021 against Tonga – and is expected to challenge for a spot in Ian Foster’s World Cup squad this year.

Reflecting on the opportunity to remain in New Zealand, Blackadder said he was “stoked to continue” playing for the Crusaders.

“It’s pretty special to be staying with the Crusaders, a club that I love playing rugby for,” Blackadder said in a statement.

“We have a great team and a great culture on and off the field, so I’m stoked to continue to be a part of that.

“But most importantly, I get to keep playing rugby with my mates.”

Playing against the Brumbies earlier this season, Blackadder left the field at Orangetheory Stadium with an injury.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson later confirmed the star flanker was set for a “couple of weeks” on the sidelines with a calf injury.

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While that time period has since come and gone, Blackadder is still yet to return for the title holders.

Clearly, this is a big blow for the Crusaders as the race for a top four spot continues to heat up.

Coach Scott Robertson, who is set to replace Ian Foster in the All Blacks’ hot seat after this year’s World Cup, said that Blackadder’s new deal was “huge for both club and country.”

“Ethan represents everything that the Crusaders are,” Robertson said. “He’s strong, he’s humble, he’s a team player, and he shows a lot of care for his club and his teammates.

“To have him locked in here until 2025 is huge for both club and country.”

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1 Comment
J
Jmann 394 days ago

anyone know when he is expected back?

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