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Cowan Re-Signs Beyond World Cup

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jimmy Cowan
Jimmy Cowan

Wellington, Feb 17 NZPA - All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and Rugby Southland until the end of 2012.

Cowan today announced his future was commited to Southland and Highlanders for two more seasons beyond this year, while also breaking the mould among most All Blacks by formalising his stay in New Zealand to a year beyond the 2011 World Cup. Most of the country's leading players are signed up to, but not beyond, next year's tournament in New Zealand.

"I really enjoy playing my rugby in New Zealand, and I'm looking forward to the next few years with the All Blacks, Southland and the Highlanders," Cowan, 28, said in a statement.

The abrasive Highlanders captain made his All Blacks debut in 2004 and has played 32 tests. Eleven of his first 13 tests were off the reserve bench but he has forged his place as the first-choice No 9 over the past two seasons.

In mid-2008 Cowan was fined and ordered to abstain from alcohol by the NZRU following three arrests in the space of three months for disorderly conduct. After undergoing alcohol counselling, he has kept a clean off-field record since.

Cowan made his Super Rugby debut in 2003, has scored seven tries and is the most capped Super Rugby player in the Highlanders team, playing his 68th game against the Crusaders in the opening round of the Super 14 last weekend. He has played 92 matches for Southland since his debut in 2000.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said was pleased to announce the re-signing of Cowan.

"Since his provincial debut nine years ago, he has developed into an outstanding rugby player. He is a passionate player who leads from the front, is a key player both on and off the field and we are delighted that he has made a commitment to New Zealand for the next three years."

Rugby Southland chief executive Roger Clark said Rugby Southland was "over the moon" with the re-signing of Cowan.

"The whole Southland community will ride on his coat tails as he strives for his dream of playing in the World Cup at home," he said.

"Jimmy's presence in the Rugby Southland set-up has been instrumental in local players committing to the province and in no small way has played a part in the consistently good performances of the Stags in the provincial competition over the past five years."

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