Midfield rock Crotty re-signs with New Zealand

Ryan Crotty of the Crusaders during the 2017 Super Rugby match between Bulls and Crusaders at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa on 06 May 2017. Photo: Backpagepix

WELLINGTON  - All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty rejected offers from overseas to instead sign up for another year in New Zealand with the Canterbury Crusaders, the 28-year-old said on Monday.

Crotty played 27 tests in the four years since his debut and became a crucial member of a New Zealand midfield that had to be overhauled after the test retirements of Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu in 2015.

 

 

"I like to take things one year at a time and when I thought about where I could picture myself in 2018, I just didn't feel like my time here in New Zealand was up yet," Crotty said in a New Zealand Rugby news release.

"I still get a thrill each time I pull on the black or red and black jerseys and... I genuinely think I have my best rugby in me yet."

A sign of his importance to the organisation of New Zealand's backline, particularly in defence, came when he was rushed back from a rib injury to play in the opening test against the British and Irish Lions last month.

He lasted only half an hour before being replaced because of a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the rest of the series, but he is hoping to return in the Crusaders' Super Rugby quarter-final against the Otago Highlanders this weekend.

"We are delighted that 'Crotts' has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"He's an incredibly valuable member of the All Blacks, is a smart footballer and provides us with a cool, calm, collected presence in the midfield."

Reuters

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