Dagg, Jane eye Lions series

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 07:52
Five All Blacks signed until 2017
Cory Jane and Israel Dagg have re-signed with New Zealand Rugby until 2017 - the same year the British and Irish Lions will tour New Zealand.
The outside backs are joined in inking new deals with NZR, which include agreements with their respective Hurricanes and Crusaders franchises, by Crusaders lock Luke Romano - who has penned a deal through to 2016.
NZR CEO Steve Tew said: "To have two experienced All Blacks in Cory and Israel re-extend deals with us through to 2017 is of major significance and we are delighted. 
Together with Luke, we are now developing a core of players who are committing to New Zealand Rugby beyond next year’s Rugby World Cup, which bodes well for the future.  
We are well aware that our players have options to play overseas, but the fact that they have re-committed to New Zealand is fantastic."
That sentiment was shared by All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen: "All three are world-class players who bring their respective strengths to our team, so it’s great news for the All Blacks, their franchise teams and for the fans."
Hurricanes head coach Mark Hammett said: "Cory’s an extremely valuable member of our unit, not only through his leadership skills, but also his ability to relax the group. We all know he’s the funny guy, but he mixes that well with knowing when he needs to step up and fulfil his senior role in the team.
"He’s extremely popular with our fans and does a lot for them, so to have a man of Cory’s calibre continue on with us until 2017 is great. He’s a real asset to the Hurricanes region."
Crusaders mentor Todd Blackadder said Dagg and Romano were both key members of the Crusaders team and talents they were thrilled to be holding onto.
"Izzy is an immensely talented individual and a vital cog within our team. 
He also brings an element of vitality, energy and fun to the Crusaders camp, so we are delighted that he sees his future here as a Crusader and has committed to the team for another four years," Blackadder said.
"Luke is another player who we see as a really important element in the Crusaders camp, particularly with the physicality and toughness he brings to his position. 
He has hit his stride in recent years, but we believe there is still untapped potential there and we are thrilled that he’s chosen to continue to grow his game in our environment."
Jane and Dagg join Kieran Read, Ben Smith and Samuel Whitelock to make it a total of five All Blacks who have already signed with New Zealand Rugby through to 2017.