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Five All Blacks Extend NZRU Contracts

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

27 October 2008 - All Blacks Josevata Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Anthony Tuitavake, John Afoa and Ma'a Nonu have extended their contracts with the New Zealand Rugby Union, it was announced today.

Rokocoko, Smith and Tuitavake have re-signed through to the end of 2010 while Afoa and Nonu have re-signed through to 2011. NZRU General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said the signings were great news for New Zealand rugby.

"To have this group of experienced and talented guys in their prime and wanting to contribute further to New Zealand rugby is fantastic.

"They will no doubt help their teams' chances of success and will also have a positive side-effect on those playing alongside them. We appreciate their commitment."

24-year-old Afoa made his All Blacks Test debut at prop in 2005 and has played nine Tests, including six so far in 2008. He has also donned the Auckland jersey 60 times since 2002 and has also played 60 matches for the Blues.

26-year-old Nonu has scored eight tries in his 28 All Blacks Tests. He made his debut in 2003 and has played in 10 Tests so far this year. The midfielder has also been capped more than 70 times for the Hurricanes and played his 58th game for Wellington last weekend.

Rokocoko has played 48 Tests for the All Blacks in a career that has so far spanned five years. The 25-year-old winger made his debut a week after his 20th birthday alongside Nonu in 2003 and has scored 43 tries in the black jersey. Rokocoko has also played 60 games for the Blues and 20 games for Auckland.

26-year-old Smith has played 21 Tests in the All Blacks midfield since making his debut against Italy in 2004. He also has also played 35 games for his Hurricanes franchise and more than 30 games for his Wellington provincial side.

Anthony Tuitavake, who is also 26, made his All Blacks debut in the first Test against Ireland this year and has played five Tests. He is the most-capped player in his North Harbour provincial side, with 76 caps since 2001, and also has played 41 Rebel Sport Super 14 matches for the Blues and Highlanders.

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