Uncapped All Blacks lock Quinten Strange has extended his contract with the Crusaders to keep him in New Zealand until 2023.

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The 24-year-old has made a name for himself as an impressive figure at the Christchurch franchise since making his Super Rugby debut in 2017.

Emerging as one of the most promising young locks in New Zealand, Strange was named as one of seven new caps in Ian Foster’s first-ever All Blacks squad last year, despite missing a large part of the Super Rugby season due to injuries.

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However, an ankle injury robbed him of a test debut, with fellow uncapped Crusaders teammate Mitchell Dunshea called into the squad as Strange’s replacement.

In addition to his 30 Super Rugby appearances for the Crusaders, Strange also has 43 Mitre 10 Cup matches to his name after debuting for the Tasman Mako as a 19-year-old in 2016.

The Takaka-born product since went on to play leading roles in Tasman’s back-to-back provincial titles in 2019 and 2020.

By re-signing to the Crusaders, Strange joins a growing nucleus of key players re-committing themselves to the reigning Super Rugby Aotearoa champions leading into the 2023 World Cup in France.

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All Blacks duo and fellow locks Scott Barrett and Sam Whitelock are among those who are also contracted with the franchise for another two years, as are loose forwards Cullen Grace and Tom Christie.

Midfield partners Braydon Ennor and Jack Goodhue and utility back David Havili are also signed on through until 2023.

Others, including star playmaker Richie Mo’unga, outside backs Will Jordan and George Bridge, All Blacks prop Joe Moody and Irish prop Oli Jager, are all on the Crusaders’ books until next season.

Strange could make his first outing for the Crusaders since signing his new contract extension this Friday when his side take on the Highlanders in a pre-season fixture in Temuka.

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The South Island rivals will then open the Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on February 26.

Crusaders players signed beyond this season

2022: Oli Jager, Joe Moody, Richie Mo’unga, George Bridge, Will Jordan.

2023: Scott Barrett, Quinten Strange, Sam Whitelock, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, David Havili.

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