Crusaders scrum-half Andrew Ellis has re-committed to Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby for a further two years, on the eve of his 100th Super Rugby match.
The 29-year-old will run out for the 100th time with the Crusaders, for their massive Round 14 derby against the Blues in front of what is expected to be a sold out AMI Stadium (Addington) on Saturday.
He marks the milestone as he confirmed his desire to continue playing his rugby in New Zealand.
"I love playing rugby in New Zealand and I love playing for the Crusaders," Ellis said.
"It is important to me to be in New Zealand while I am still playing my best rugby and I consider it a real privilege to go to work every day with my best mates, and to wear the Crusaders jersey," Ellis said.
New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew congratulated Ellis on his recommitment.
"This is fantastic news for the Crusaders and for New Zealand Rugby - Andy is a special player who has already given outstanding service to the game. We congratulate him on reaching a significant milestone in Investec Super Rugby," Tew said.
Crusaders Chief Executive Hamish Riach echoed Tew's sentiments.
"We are thrilled that Andy has re-signed and wants to be a Crusader for another two years," he said.
"He is an exceptional player, whose professionalism and commitment to the Crusaders and the jersey have pegged him as a special leader inside the team environment.
"Andy is part of an illustrious group being the 11th Crusader to about to reach 100 caps.
"He joins some other great Crusaders in this special club - Justin Marshall, Caleb Ralph, Reuben Thorne, Greg Somerville, Leon MacDonald, Richie McCaw, Chris Jack, Corey Flynn, Dan Carter and Wyatt Crockett.
"This is an outstanding achievement and we congratulate Andy."
Ellis debuted for the Crusaders in 2006 against the Reds. Now in his eighth season with the Crusaders, the 26-Test All Black has a Rugby World Cup 2011 title, two Super Rugby championships and three ITM Cup titles.