Samoa vs Scotland
Golden Lions vs Griquas

Mealamu stays in Black and Blue

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:22
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Veteran All Black hooker Keven Mealamu has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Blues.

Veteran All Black hooker Keven Mealamu has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and the Blues.

34-year-old Mealamu has so far played 105 Tests for the All Blacks and is New Zealand's most-capped Super Rugby player with more than 150 games.

His contract has been extended initially through to the end of 2014, with provision for the NZRU and Mealamu to agree to add another year to the deal, to take him through to the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Mealamu said the decision to re-sign with the NZRU was an easy one.

"I love New Zealand - this is my family's home. It's a real honour to play rugby for my country, the Blues and Auckland so I am delighted to carry on playing my rugby here.

"I am also very excited at the prospect of playing for Auckland this week in the ITM Cup match against 'The Steamers'. Auckland has fully supported me throughout my career and I am keen to give something back to my province."

All Black head coach Steve Hansen has welcomed the re-signing: "Keven has been a massive part of what the All Blacks have achieved in recent years. He has been a valued leader for a number of years now and has a large part to play in the off-field leadership of the team.  

“Also, his experience has been invaluable in recent times in mentoring Dane Coles and the other young hookers. Having that experience available to us is hugely positive for the future and having him re-sign will allow that to continue."

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan said: "Keven is one of this city's - in fact, this country's - finest rugby ambassadors. He represents everything that is great about the game - loyalty, excellence, integrity and leadership. Having played more than 100 games for the Blues shows how much Keven means to us."

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said: "Keven is one of the gentlemen of our game, one of the most capped All Blacks and holds the record for Super Rugby appearances - he has done so much for rugby in New Zealand. We are delighted that he has recommitted to New Zealand rugby."

Now into his 14th season as a professional rugby player, Tokoroa-born Mealamu was originally a loose forward, playing as a flank in the Under-16s in 1995, before being encouraged to switch to hooker. He quickly adapted to the front row and the core essentials of a modern hooker: as a solid scrummager and accurate line-out thrower.

But he always retained many of the instincts of a loose forward, with his mobility and skills in the open, his safe tackling and a try-scoring ability. Mealamu was only 20 when he first appeared for Auckland at provincial level and made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2000.

He made his All Black debut in 2002 against Wales alongside his good friend and newest All Black centurion Tony Woodcock. In 2011 he surpassed Sean Fitzpatrick as the All Blacks' most-capped hooker and in 2012 he played his 100th Test for the All Blacks.

Mealamu is the latest in a growing list of current and former All Blacks who have recommitted to New Zealand rugby for the next few seasons.

The list of players includes: outside back Ben Smith (2017), hooker Dane Coles (2016), captain Richie McCaw and fellow loose forwards Liam Messam, Sam Cane and Steven Luatua, props Ben Franks, Wyatt Crockett and Ben Afeaki, locks Brodie Retallick and Jeremy Thrush, scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow, flyhalves Daniel Carter and Colin Slade, and outside backs Francis Saili and Charles Piutau (all signed to 2015); the All Blacks most capped prop Tony Woodcock and fellow props Owen Franks and Charlie Faumuina, hookers Hikawera Elliot and Corey Flynn, lock Luke Romano, loose forwards Victor Vito and Matt Todd, scrumhalves Piri Weepu, Andy Ellis and Aaron Smith, flyhalves Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett, centre Conrad Smith and outside backs Israel Dagg, Cory Jane and Zac Guildford (all through to 2014).

Samoa vs Scotland
sast: 15h30 | local: 17h30

  • 26 | 23
Golden Lions vs Griquas
sast: 16h00 | local: 18h00

  • 7 | 7
Sat, 10 October 2015
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h00 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 34 | 34
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26