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Joe Moody staying with NZ Rugby until 2019

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/06/2016

Crusaders strongman Joe Moody has joined a select group of players to have extended his stay with New Zealand Rugby until 2019.

A late bloomer, 27-year-old prop Moody has emerged as a first-choice All Blacks Test starter, wearing the No.1 jersey throughout the three-Test series sweep of Wales in June.

He joins six other All Blacks to have committed through to the next World Cup in Japan. The others are Julian Savea, Sonny Bill Williams, Aaron Smith, Patrick Tuipulotu, Brodie Retallick and Dane Coles.

A powerful scrummaging presence, Moody played the first of his 14 Tests in 2014, a year after making his Super Rugby debut.

He didn't win initial selection for the 2015 World Cup but was called into the squad as cover when injury struck veteran loosehead Tony Woodcock.

Moody pounced on his chance, leapfrogging Wyatt Crocket to start all three knockout matches as New Zealand defended their crown.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Moody has quickly developed into a "very important" member of his team whose improvement can be attributed to dedication to his core roles.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder, believes former New Zealand wrestling representative Moody will only improve and predicts a lengthy career at the highest level.

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