Rugby: All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris re-signs with New Zealand Rugby

Harris.
Harris. Photo credit: Photosport

All Blacks and Chiefs hooker Nathan Harris has extended his contract with New Zealand Rugby through until 2021.

The 27-year-old said he was delighted to lock in his future with the Hamilton-based Super Rugby franchise.

"I'm really excited to have re-signed with New Zealand rugby and to continue playing rugby for the Chiefs for the next two seasons," Harris stated.

"I've had the privilege to be a part of this team for several years now and in that time I've developed and grown as a player. It is a fantastic environment to be a part of and I am grateful to be able to continue doing what I love."

With a young family to consider, Harris called the decision a "no brainer".

"My partner is here and we have a little child now, so just making sure that she has a good upbringing here in Hamilton. Being close to grandparents...it's pretty important to us." 

Harris confirmed he'd received a "couple of offers" from overseas clubs in the past two years.

"I've got unfinished business here. I was unlucky to have a few injuries early on in my career.

"I love the Chiefs and what they stand for, so it was easy enough just to push those away and concentrate on what's best for me and my family."

The Bay of Plenty product has played 20 tests for the All Blacks since his debut in 2014, primarily as a substitute.

He'll likely be their third-choice hooker for the bumper 2018 international campaign, behind Codie Taylor and Dane Coles.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen welcomed news of Harris' decision to remain on New Zealand shores.

"It's great for the future of the All Blacks and the Chiefs to have someone of Nathan’s ability re-signing," said Hansen.

"He's made the most of his time in our environment in the last couple of seasons, getting a number of test caps, and is constantly working on the core aspects of his game, while also adding new skills."

Chiefs coach Colin Cooper echoed those sentiments, praising the growth of Harris' game and his development into one of his side's leaders.

"Nathan is a great guy and a real team player," said Cooper. "He's very diligent and eager to learn.

"Over the years he has grown into his role as a senior leader amongst the team and continues to be a willing contributor both on and off the field."

Harris' recommitment further bolsters the All Blacks' depth at hooker, after Taylor and Coles respective two-year deals, while Liam Coltman is also signed through until 2022.

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