The Hurricanes have announced the re-signing of New Zealand U20 and Maori All Black pivot Otere Black for a further two years.
The 20-year-old Manawatu Turbo was part of the Wellington-based franchise's wider training group this year, and ended up playing four matches in his first season, scoring 17 points.
Despite fielding significant interest from at least three other New Zealand Super Rugby teams, Black said it was at the Hurricanes where he wanted to continue developing his game.
"I’ve always wanted to be a part of this club and it was awesome to be given a few opportunities this year," he told the Hurricanes' official website.
"I loved every minute of it and am hoping for more to come over these next couple of years.
"It’s such an awesome environment to be immersed in and there's a great bunch of guys here who all want to work for each other, so I’m really looking forward to remaining a part of that."
It’s been a memorable year for Black, who steered the New Zealand U20 side to a Junior World Championship title last month. He was also named in the 2015 Maori All Blacks and will travel with the team to Fiji this week.
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd believes Black is an outstanding young prospect with a huge future.
"Otere steered the New Zealand U20s to their first finals victory in four years, he played a significant part in Manawatu’s ITM Cup championship and promotion to the premiership, and he’ll work in tandem with Beauden over the next couple of years to hopefully do the same for our club," he said.
Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni said the re-signing was fantastic news for the club and its future.
"Otere could have chosen to go to any of the clubs in New Zealand because he is the ideal combination of an extremely talented number ten, and a fine young man," he explained.
"We weren’t surprised at all in the success he had with the U20s and being named in the Maori All Blacks, given how well he played for us on debut this season.
"I expect he will play many games for the Hurricanes in future years and I look forward to seeing how he continues to develop into the Hurricanes player we know he can be."