All Blacks: Ardie Savea extends deal with New Zealand Rugby

Savea is staying with NZ Rugby.
Savea is staying with NZ Rugby. Photo credit: Getty

All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby through until the end of 2021.

The Hurricanes stalwart took to social media to confirm his plans and described his decision as "very tough".

"Truly blessed to have re-signed with NZ for 2020-2021," Savea said on Instagram.

"To be honest, it was a very tough decision, but being at home with family and close friends, and the opportunity to play for the All Blacks, Hurricanes and Wellington, I couldn't leave." 

In the absence of the injured Sam Cane, Savea proved a revelation as the starting openside flanker during the All Blacks' annual European tour.

During that tour, the 25-year-old was rumoured to have agreed to a deal with French Top 14 club Pau, which he later backed out of.

"It is for certain that he will not be coming," Pau president Bernard Pontneau told RMC Sport last week.

"It's disappointing, but it's also the risk you take when wanting to recruit a young player."

With the 2019 World Cup looming, securing Savea's signature will come as a relief for the All Blacks brass, in light of the severe neck injury that saw Cane whisked home from South Africa during the Rugby Championship.