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All Blacks centre commits to 2021

They’ll be relieved to secure his signature.

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Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images

Powerful midfielder Ngani Laumape has become the latest player to commit to New Zealand, after extending his contract with New Zealand Rugby and his Hurricanes Super Rugby team.

25-year-old Laumape made his Super Rugby and provincial debut for the Hurricanes and Manawatu respectively in 2016 and his All Blacks debut in 2017. He has played 10 times for the All Blacks, 44 Super Rugby games and 14 Manawatu matches.

Laumape acknowledged that while he had received offers to head overseas at the end of the 2019 season, he felt it was the best thing for himself and his family to continue to play for the Hurricanes, look to again play for the All Blacks, as well as extend his provincial contract.

“It was a decision that I feel really happy with and it also gives me and my family security to know where we will be to at least the end of 2021,”

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said:

“Ngani is part of a crop of outstanding young All Blacks who are taking their opportunities on the international stage, and we congratulate him on his decision. He’s a talented footballer and really maturing and growing his game in the midfield position. We look forward to seeing Ngani in the All Blacks and Hurricanes jerseys for some years to come.”

Hurricanes Head Coach John Plumtree said he was delighted that Laumape would continue to be at the club beyond 2019.

“To get Ngani committed to being at the Hurricanes until 2021, so soon after Dane Coles also announced he was staying, it’s more great news for us,” he said.

“We believe Ngani will continue to get better. We have all seen how destructive and effective he is in the midfield for us and he is a guy who other players want to team up with.”

Hurricanes Chief Executive Avan Lee said Laumape’s decision to extend his time with the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby was another positive signal.

“We know how much of an impact it can have on other players when they see the likes of Ngani staying and wanting to continue with the Hurricanes. We are really pleased he will be here, with us, for at least the next three years.”

Related Articles:

Dane Coles decides future

Ben Smith off to France

Nehe to join Toulon

Ardie Savea to remain in NZ

International

Wallabies selector O’Connor outlines requirements for Quade Cooper

Clear instructions.

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Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

New Australian Rugby selector Michael O’Connor has highlighted that Quade Cooper can take less risks to win international selection, now that he has joined the Melbourne Rebels.

Connor is set to start his work as a selector next month. He will work alongside head coach Michael Cheika and in-coming director of Rugby Scott Johnson.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “There are still areas in his game he needs work on and if he can improve those, well then he’ll be in the reckoning.

“I would be very surprised if Michael (Cheika) didn’t agree with that. At Test level though you can’t be throwing blind passes. You can’t be taking risks at the line.”

Cooper was impressive during the Rebels recent 34-27 victory against the Brumbies.

O’ Connor expects his side to face a few selection dilemmas this year especially as it is a world cup year. However, he does feel that the final decisions will ultimately go down to coach Cheika.

Check out some of Quade’s highlights from his debut with the Rebels

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Sonny Bill Williams linked with Canadian move.

#Wolfpack

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Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Toronto Wolfpack owner David Argyle says the club are on the brink of signing one of the biggest names in rugby union according to League Weekly.

Several players have been linked with Canadian club across social media, but it does seem that Sonny Bill Williams is the name that seems most likely.

The 33-year-old has played across both codes. He left rugby league to return to the Union in 2014.

SBW has suggested in a number of interviews that he would like to finish his rugby career in League, where it all began for him when he ran out for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2004.

Wolfpack owner Argyle certainly stirred the pot while speaking at a viewing party on Saturday night.

“We’ve got some really exciting things coming up,”

“Before the Rugby Union World Cup in Japan later this year, we will have one of the top five rugby players in the world (coming here).”

Toronto’s rise in Rugby League has been a radical one with the team playing their first pro game in 2017.

Backed by billionaire Argyle, who has made his fortune in mining they almost secured back-to-back promotions but were beaten in last year’s Million Pound Game by London Broncos.

They have started this seasons campaign with real purpose and have set their sights on the top flight under new head coach Brian McDermott.

Could we actually see Sonny Bill Williams become part of the ‘Wolfpack’ and appear for the transatlantic team next season, potentially in Super League?

Stranger things have happened.

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Barrett wary of French move following Savea blastings

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Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal has came out swinging this week at his players following their lost to Agen. Julian Savea took the brunt of the abuse while Rhys Webb took a spraying too.

Beauden Barrett was speaking to reporters since the comments were made and has said the savaging of former All Blacks teammate Julian Savea by Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal would make him think twice about joining the French club.

The unrepentant French tycoon doubled-down on his criticism of Savea with another astonishing rant after Savea publically responded to the ‘released‘ comments made by his boss. This sparked a huge Twitter backlash against Boudjellal with friends and former colleagues of the All Black winger showing him their support.

Barrett took things a step further when questioned if Boudjellal’s comments would put him off signing for Toulon when he decides his post RWC Future.

“It certainly doesn’t help,” he told reporters.

“Firstly, you’ve got to be comfortable. It’s a big move to move offshore and you have to be happy with a number of things.

“Your family have to be happy, you have to be happy with the coaching setup and team culture, so there are a number of different things.

“It’s totally different over there from what we see externally. It must be a different dynamic, it’s not the same as here.”

The Twitter backlash against Boudjellal seemed to stoke the fire as he unleashed round 2 of his spat yesterday, saying the rest of his contract will be “very long for him”.

The owner was particularly unhappy Savea took a month off for a trip to Fiji to attend the wedding of his brother and All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea.

“I can not think it’s normal for a player paid more than 1 million euros per year to go on holiday to Fiji for a month in December … he just had to attend his brother’s wedding, not take long leave,”

Boudjellal words perhaps were an intentional warning for those considering joining the club.

“Do not come to Toulon as a tourist. There is enough in the region,”

Earlier this season the outspoken owner came out and said when he intended leaving the club. Perhaps this isn’t soon enough for some players.

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