Highlanders keep some All Black experience
NEWS: The Highlanders received a timely boost - ahead of their Super Rugby Round Six encounter with the Rebels.
It was revealed that All Blacks hooker Liam Coltman has signed on with the Highlanders and New Zealand Rugby Union until the end of the 2019 season.
Coltman, who made the announcement on the team's official Facebook page, is in elite company.
All Black fullback Ben Smith also recently extended his stay with the Highlanders.
"I am really excited to tell you I have signed on for another two years with the Highlanders," Coltman said.
"I absolutely love Dunedin, love the place, can't get enough of it
"I'm staying for another two and I can't wait to play for the rest of the year," he added.
Coltman made his debut for the Dunedin-based franchise in 2013 and has already made more than 50 appearances for the 2015 Super Rugby champions.
The 27-year-old hooker made his Test debut as a replacement in the All Blacks' 68-10 win over Italy in Rome during last year's end-of-year tour.
Born and bred in New Plymouth, he has played 64 games for Otago and captained the blue and golds during last year's NPC.
He was called into the All Blacks as injury cover for Codie Taylor and Nathan Harris for last year's Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies in Wellington last September, but had to wait until the 65th minute of the team's end-of-year tour match against Italy to earn his first cap.
With Highlanders co-captain Ash Dixon out with a back injury, Coltman has started all five of the Highlanders' games so far this season