All Blacks: Rieko Ioane signs four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby

  • 21/09/2018

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) for a four-year deal, recommitting to the All Blacks, the Blues and Auckland until 2022.

The 21-year-old is regarded as the world's best winger, scoring 18 tries in 18 tests for New Zealand, and was voted World Rugby's breakout player of 2017.

On top of securing Ioane on a long-term deal, NZR have also re-signed older brother Akira on a three year deal until 2021.

Akira, 23, has also recommitted with the Blues and Auckland.

"I feel incredibly privileged to get the opportunity to play my rugby here for another four years," said Rieko.

"I want to give it my best shot at serving the black jersey and, hopefully, I'll get the chance to play at the Rugby World Cup in the future. That's a huge motivator for me.

"It was obviously tough this year for the Blues, but I feel we're on the verge of something special and I want to be a part of that journey.  Auckland is my home, it's where I grew up and it's the city that made me as a rugby player, so I want to do my bit to help it move forward."

Arika and Rieko Ioane.
Arika and Rieko Ioane. Photo credit: Photosport

Akira said: "It was important for me to stay in Auckland and at the Blues, because it's my home and I want to help the teams in this city succeed. I also want to keep playing my best rugby and try to make it back into the All Blacks again.

"It will also be special sharing the next few years with my brother and representing our family out on the footy field."

Akira hasn't played a test for the All Blacks, but played against French XV last year and started every Blues games during the 2018 Super Rugby season.

He has also played an influential role in Auckland's Mitre 10 Cup resurgence, which has seen them win all five games this season.

"This is fantastic news for New Zealand Rugby," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"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."

Newshub.

 

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