Mealamu staying in New Zealand

28th Aug 2013, 18:42

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Ambassador: Keven Mealamu

Ambassador: Keven Mealamu

All Blacks, Blues and Auckland hooker Keven Mealamu has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby and the Blues.

All Blacks, Blues and Auckland hooker Keven Mealamu has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby and the Blues.

34-year-old Mealamu has so far played 105 Tests for the All Blacks and is New Zealand's most capped Super Rugby player with more than 150 games.

His contract has been extended initially through to the end of the 2014 year, with provision for the NZRU and Mealamu to agree to add another year to the deal, to take him through to the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Mealamu said the decision to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby was an easy one.

"I love New Zealand - this is my family's home. It's a real honour to play rugby for my country, the Blues and Auckland so I am delighted to carry on playing my rugby here," said Mealamu.

"I am also very excited at the prospect of playing for Auckland this week in the ITM Cup match against 'The Steamers'. Auckland has fully supported me throughout my career and I am keen to give something back to my province."

"Keven has been a massive part of what the All Blacks have achieved in recent years. He has been a valued leader for a number of years now and has a large part to play in the off-field leadership of the team," said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

"Also, his experience has been invaluable in recent times in mentoring Dane Coles and the other young hookers. Having that experience available to us is hugely positive for the future and having him re-sign will allow that to continue."

"Keven is one of this city's - in fact, this country's - finest rugby ambassadors. He represents everything that is great about the game - loyalty, excellence, integrity and leadership. Having played more than 100 games for the Blues shows how much Keven means to us," said Blues coach Sir John Kirwan.