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Israel Dagg extends NZ Rugby contract

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/02/2017

All Blacks winger Israel Dagg has spurned some tempting overseas offers to extend his contract with New Zealand Rugby through to 2019.

The 61-Test All Black has confirmed a three-year deal with the Crusaders and national provincial team Hawke's Bay, joining teammate Ben Smith in re-signing with New Zealand Rugby until after the 2019 World Cup.

He posted a short Instagram video on Monday making the announcement.

"I've decided to stick around in New Zealand for the next three years and do my time with the Crusaders brothers," Dagg said before being engulfed by cheering teammates and new coach Scott Robertson.

Dagg, who recently announced that he and wife Daisy are expecting their first child, admitted there had been some "attractive offers" from overseas to consider.

"But at the end of the day I love my life here in New Zealand with my family, friends and teammates and I'm not ready to give that up," he said in a statement.

"I still feel blessed every time I pull on the jersey for the All Blacks, Crusaders or Magpies so I consider it an honour to be able to keep working hard to earn that right for the next three years."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Dagg's signing was excellent news.

"To have a player of Israel's ability and versatility re-sign is a major lift for all levels of New Zealand Rugby.

"To be able to plan the future knowing that we'll have him involved makes life so much easier for us all, and we look forward to the challenges ahead."

Robertson praised Dagg's sense of loyalty and pride in the teams he represents.

"We have an idea about the sort of offers that players of Israel's calibre are presented with from overseas, and it can never be easy for a player to turn that down," he said.

"Izzy is a player who, for all of his natural talent, has never taken his place in a team for granted.

"He is such a positive influence on this team, on and off the field, so we couldn't be happier to have him sticking around,."

Smith and Dagg's signing is a welcome boost for New Zealand Rugby after first five-eighth Aaron Cruden last month signed a lucrative three-year deal with French club Montpellier.

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