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Chiefs pair sign long-term NZ contracts

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/05/2017
Anton Lienert-Brown. © Getty Images Anton Lienert-Brown.

Two Chiefs players regarded as potential long-serving All Blacks have signed multiple-year extension deals with New Zealand Rugby.

Midfield back Anton Lienert-Brown, 22, is contracted through to 2020 while a deal with hooker Nathan Harris, 25, ends a year earlier.

The pair, who made their Super Rugby debuts in 2014, have both proven themselves at All Blacks level.

Nathan Harris © Kerry Marshall / Getty Images Nathan Harris

Lienert-Brown impressed in nine Tests in his rookie 2016 campaign, earning a nomination as World Rugby's breakthrough player of the year.

The former New Zealand age group standout is just the third All Black to sign until 2020, joining fullback Ben Smith and lock Sam Whitelock.

Harris, a Chiefs forward for four seasons, has played four Tests but it could have been more were it not for a crippling run of injuries.

He recently returned from a serious knee complaint and has a chance to force his way into the All Blacks squad for the looming Tests against Samoa and the British and Irish Lions.

NZ Rugby general manager rugby Neil Sorensen says the importance of retaining the pair can't be under-played.

"We're over the moon that both Anton and Nathan have re-signed with us," he said.

"They are two players, along with others, that the future success of New Zealand Rugby will be built on."

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