Yesterday New Zealand Rugby announced the 21-year-old had re-signed through 2022 and would remain with the Auckland based Super Rugby franchise for the next four years, successfully staving off any temptation to leave.
“For me personally, there’s always that temptation. Seeing the franchises do a lot better than we did, there’s always going to be that temptation,” Ioane told NZME when asked about the possibility of playing for another club.
“But for me the huge factor is being at home. I’m a proud Aucklander and I want to inspire the change that hopefully gets us to where we need to get to.”
At such a young age, Ioane feels he still has plenty to prove at the international level.
“I want to establish myself in New Zealand,” Ioane said. “I’m still a young fulla, so the black jersey is enough for me. It’s enough to keep me here.”
Ioane will be joined by older brother Akira, who has signed on until 2021. All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen believes both brothers have the potential to keep making an impact for both the Blues and the national side. Rieko now has 18 Tests to his name – and 18 tries – while Akira made an uncapped All Blacks debut against the French XV late last year.
“This is fantastic news for New Zealand Rugby,” Hansen said in a statement Friday.
“Rieko is a young player with undoubted talent who has already achieved wonderful things on the international stage. With his growing maturity and growth in his game understanding, I’m sure we’ll see his game go to even greater heights.
“Akira is also an immense talent who has a bright future in our national game and we congratulate him on his decision as well.”
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