Waikato have announced the re-signing of All Blacks centre and Anton Lienert-Brown and front-row Loni Uhila for the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup season.
Lienert-Brown’s consistent form and versatility has seen him rewarded with a call up to the All Blacks, initially as an injury replacement for Sonny Bill Williams.
But after just five caps for the All Blacks, the 21-year-old’s skill-set has seen him propelled from a fringe player to a starting position in the world champions’ midfield.
27-year-old Uhila, who won this year’s Super Rugby title with the Hurricanes, is a fan favourite with supporters and played three games for Waikato before breaking his arm in the Auckland game that saw him miss the remainder of the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup campaign.
Waikato head coach Sean Botherway is delighted to retain the duo’s services.
“The retention of our Super Rugby players is a priority and to that end we are pleased to have Anton and Loni remain in the Waikato,” he told Waikato’s official website.
“Obviously Anton has burst onto the international arena and has done a magnificent job for the AB’s during the Rugby Championship. Whilst we may not see a lot of him in a playing context, we are very proud that he is a Waikato All Black.
“Loni is a real personality with strong connections to this province; it is wonderful that he will be back in 2017.”