Rugby: All Blacks prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi signs new three-year contract with NZ Rugby

  • 17/03/2021

All Blacks prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi has reaffirmed his commitment to NZ Rugby, re-signing until the end of 2024.

"I'm just very thankful, I'm very grateful at the moment," Tu'ungafasi tells Newshub.

"I want to give a big thank you to NZR, the All Blacks coaches - Ian Foster and his team, the rest of the management team - for having that trust in me. If they didn't, then this wouldn't be possible.

"I'm looking forward to doing everything I can in my power, in my control to - God willing - make that team, so I can put my best foot forward.

"I'm just very grateful and there's no better place to be at right now than being here at home close to family. I'm just thankful for the next three years."

Tu'ungafasi, 28, has put pen to paper on a new deal that sees him become the first All Black to commit to New Zealand and the Blues beyond the next Rugby World Cup, to be held in France in 2023.

The front-rower has played 39 tests for the All Blacks, debuting against Wales in 2016, and played in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, where New Zealand finished third.

Tu'ungafasi tells Newshub that while overseas clubs came calling, the ability to stay in New Zealand was too good to turn down.

"There [were] options," he adds. "But with what's happening in the world right now, I'd prefer to be here in New Zealand."

Tu'ungafasi will also stay part of the Blues set-up, thanking coach Leon MacDonald for playing a role in his development.

While anticipating his role in the All Blacks' 2023 World Cup campaign, Tu'ungafasi isn't looking any further than the Blues' Super Rugby Aotearoa clash with the Crusaders this weekend.

"[Thank you] to Leon and his team for having the trust in me, giving me another few years to stick around.

"Right now, with the Blues, we've got a big game this week. All my attention is on getting myself right and preparing for Sunday."

Join us on Sunday at 3:35pm for live updates of the Blues v Crusaders’ Super Rugby Aotearoa clash.