All Blacks: Aaron Smith re-signs with New Zealand Rugby on two-year deal

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby on a two year deal, recommitting to the national side and the Highlanders until the end of 2021.

The 30-year-old made his All Blacks debut in 2012 and has been a mainstay in the national side ever since, becoming New Zealand's most capped number nine with 82 tests under his belt.

Smith, who last month announced his engagement to partner Teagan Voykovic, said leaving New Zealand was never an option.

"From my earliest playing days, my focus has always been about being passionate about the teams I play for and I've always enjoyed giving 100 percent to the teams I represent," Smith said.

"I love representing the Highlanders and the All Blacks and playing my rugby in New Zealand gives me the chance to continue to do that.

"I'm grateful to NZ Rugby and the Highlanders organisation for all the support they've given me over my career and for the opportunities they have provided for myself and Teagan, going forward."

The couple recently announced they're expecting their first child together.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said he's pleased to secure the services of Smith for two more years.

"Nuggy has been such an outstanding player for us over many years and deserves every accolade he gets," said Hansen.

"He's a passionate team man, a leader in our team and gives his all to the group. He works incredibly hard on his game and has been incredibly consistent since first coming into the All Blacks.

"The speed of his delivery from the base of the scrum and ruck is a key point of difference and means we can play the game at real pace, which has suited our game.

"It's fantastic news that he has committed himself to both New Zealand Rugby and the Highlanders and we congratulate him on his decision.

"It's also timely to congratulate him and his partner Teagan on their recent engagement and the pending birth of their first child."

Smith is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and is expected to miss six weeks of Super Rugby.

He joins a number of established All Blacks who have signed with New Zealand Rugby post-2019, including hookers Dane Coles, and Codie Taylor, props Joe Moody, and Ofa Tuungafasi, lock Scott Barrett, loose forwards Sam Cane, and Ardie Savea, halfback TJ Perenara, midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown, and outside backs Damian McKenzie and Rieko Ioane.


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