Powerful back Seta Tamanivalu will spend a second season in red and black next year, having re-signed to the Crusaders for 2018.
Tamanivalu revealed that it was a relatively straight-forward decision when he thought about how much he has been enjoying this first year with the team.
“I have been loving playing for this team and learning from the coaches and players around me," he said.
"This has been such a special season for all of us at the BNZ Crusaders with so many highlights and great memories, and the best is yet to come.
"There were options to go overseas, but I am not ready to walk away from all of the good stuff here just yet.”
Tamanivalu will face the team that launched his Super Rugby career this Saturday, with the Crusaders hosting the Chiefs in the Super Rugby semi-final.
He joined the Chiefs in 2015 but moved south to play his third Super Rugby season with the Christchurch-based Crusaders this year.
Born in Fiji and formerly an U18 Fiji Rugby League representative, Tamanivalu burst onto the New Zealand rugby scene in 2012 when he was selected in the Taranaki national provincial team.
In 2013 he was named Taranaki’s most promising player of the year, and in 2014 he was recognised as New Zealand’s Player of the Year in the national provincial competition. He debuted for the All Blacks in 2016 during the three test series against Wales.
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson praised Tamanivalu for the important contribution he has made to the team, on and off the field, in his first season here.
“Seta came here with a winning attitude and a desire to make an impact on this team," he said.
"There is no doubt that he has done that. The boys love having him around because of his fun-loving nature and cheeky humour, but then he takes the field and transforms into this threatening, potent attacking force.
"We love that about him and we are excited that we will be able to continue working with his natural talents in 2018.”