Four-year deals for Retallick and Savea

Date published: May 27 2015

New Zealand Rugby have secured the long-term futures of reigning World Player of the Year Brodie Retallick and try-machine winger Julian Savea.

NZR announced on Wednesday that the pair have inked long-term deals until after the 2019 World Cup.

23-year-old Retallick and 24-year-old Savea, who made their Test debuts alongside each other in 2012, are the first players to re-sign with NZR and their respective Super Rugby clubs on four-year deals.

NZR chief Steve Tew described their retention as "very significant" as they look to hold onto key All Blacks as the flow of talent to wealthy European clubs continues unabated.

"Brodie and Julian represent a big part of the future for us and we are delighted to have them sign for four more years," Tew said in a press release.

"We know our players have choices, so to have them commit long-term to New Zealand Rugby is very pleasing, and I want to thank them both for their commitment to New Zealand.

"It's an exciting period for rugby in this country and they will now be part of some very important events, including the revamped Super Rugby competition from next year, the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2017 and Rugby World Cup 2019."

Steve Tew also said that, as with other long-term contracted players, NZR and the players' representatives had agreed terms which would ensure the players' workloads were managed appropriately, but added that there were no extended breaks to play overseas or long-service leave in the contracts.

Brodie Retallick was crowned World Rugby Player of the Year last year capping a remarkable rise for the towering lock. He played for New Zealand Under 20 at the 2011 Junior World Championships, making his Super Rugby and All Blacks debut the following year. He played every game in the Steinlager Series and Investec Rugby Championship that year and has now clocked up 36 Tests and more than 50 Super Rugby caps.

Retallick said his ambition to play in back-to-back Rugby World Cups was a big motivator to remain in New Zealand.

"I am only young and still have plenty to learn about the game. There is a lot I want to achieve and I firmly believe that New Zealand is the best place for me to grow my game and accomplish my goals. I have access to the best coaches in the world, play in teams with great lads and great environments and am really enjoying my footy."

Julian Savea first made an international impact in the New Zealand Under 20 side (winning Junior Player of the Year in 2010) and All Blacks Sevens before announcing his arrival on the Test stage by scoring three tries in his Test debut against Ireland in 2012. The powerful runner has now racked up an incredible 30 tries in 33 Tests as well as 29 tries in more than 60 appearances for the Hurricanes.

Savea said the decision to re-sign was, ultimately, an easy one to make.

"There are still a lot of things I want to achieve in New Zealand rugby and I love playing for both the Hurricanes and the All Blacks, love the jerseys, want to continue to grow as a player and help both teams succeed and add to the legacy.

"I love the environment in both teams and the fact that a bunch of Hurricanes boys play for the All Blacks as well just makes it even better. We just want to play well for the team, for ourselves and for our fans."

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "It's fantastic news to have both Brodie and Julian re-sign through until 2019 and I'm sure all New Zealand rugby fans will join us in applauding their decision. Even though they are still relatively young, they are now very experienced rugby players. They are also very valuable team members who are both world-leading players."

Hurricanes Coach Chris Boyd said: "Julian is a world-class player and we're thrilled to have another local guy remain with the team. One of our focuses is to retain our own talent and the fact the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby have been able to secure his services long term in what is a highly competitive contracting world is great, and also reflects his commitment.

"He's certainly one of our key players, and on the back of a number of other player re-signings, he will continue to be an important part of what is a highly capable back three for the Hurricanes."

Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie said: "We are rapt that Brodie has committed to the Chiefs and New Zealand Rugby for the next four years. He's a top man whose contribution has been world class for us both on and off the field. He sets high standards, is a leader and highly competitive in nature.

"While his set piece play and skill set are impressive it's his work ethic that is phenomenal. He has been the glue for us, a man whose grunt work allows others to shine. It's this attitude that saw him crowned the 2014 World Rugby Player of the Year."

Savea and Retallick join a raft of current All Blacks who have re-signed beyond this year, including Jerome Kaino (2018), Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith, Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Malakai Fekitoa (2017) and Dane Coles, Sonny Bill Williams, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Luke Romano, TJ Perenara, Dominic Bird and Patrick Tuipulotu (2016).