Ardie Savea announces long-term New Zealand Rugby contract extension
Savea was due to come off-contract with NZR at the end of this year, but the 28-year-old loose forward announced on social media that he has inked a new deal that will keep him in New Zealand until the end of 2025.
In doing so, Savea becomes the first All Black to have signed with NZR for that long, with prop Ofa Tuungafasi the only other member of the most recent All Blacks squad to have publicly committed beyond the 2023 World Cup in France.
The 59-test international’s new deal has also seen him recommit to the Hurricanes until 2023, opening up the possibility of an anticipated move to new Super Rugby Pacific franchise Moana Pasifika for the final two years of his contract.
News of Savea’s contract extension comes after he stood out in a subpar All Blacks season where he impressed with an array of energetic displays across the back row.
He also captained the All Blacks for the first time in his career, taking charge of the team throughout the Rugby Championship in the absence of regular skipper Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith.
Savea joined Tana Umaga, Jerry Collins, Rodney So’oialo, Mils Muliaina and Keven Mealamu as the only players of Pasifika heritage to have captained the All Blacks.
In an Instagram video skit addressed to himself on Tuesday, Savea – who claims to have negotiated his deal without an agent – said that he and his family are “happy” in New Zealand.
“My family’s happy here in New Zealand. We’re well-settled in Wellington. I guess to be able to sign another four years here is truly a blessing,” Savea said.
He added that he wants to “leave an impact” on the game in New Zealand and that he has “a lot of learning to do” in order to become “the greatest of all-time”.
“You’ve got one more deal left, potentially a couple more deals left. You can’t just be happy that you’ve done one deal and think you’re the greatest of all-time, because you’re not. You’ve still got a lot of learning to do.”
In an official statement released by NZR, general manager of professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum said Savea’s performances this season illustrate his “drive and passion” for the Hurricanes and All Blacks.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 30, 2021
“Ardie’s been loyal to his club Oriental Rongotai, his province Wellington and to the Hurricanes in Super Rugby during his playing career and he’s continuing that loyalty by recommitting to New Zealand Rugby for another four seasons,” Lendrum said.
“His performances this season have been very strong, and it’s testament to the drive and passion Ardie has for the Hurricanes and All Blacks that he’s committed his long-term future to New Zealand.
“We look forward to his continued contribution to the teams and communities he represents so well.”
Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland said he was pleased to have Savea onboard for at least the next two Super Rugby Pacific seasons.
“It’s great to get Ardie re-signed. He is a quality man, a key member of our team and a hell of a player so it’s awesome to have him recommit to the club,” Holland said.
“He has a wealth of experience, a calming influence as a leader and a competitive presence on the field which most certainly brings out the best in others.”
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