All Blacks midfielder Rieko Ioane has re-signed with NZ Rugby for four more years through the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
Ioane, 26, has been a regular selection for the national team, since his 2016 debut against Italy as a teenager, but most recently, he was rumoured to join several other All Blacks moving offshore next year, after the next World Cup in France.
He has ended that speculation with a decision to remain on board with Auckland, the Blues and the All Blacks for another tournament beyond that.
“I’m proud to be signing through until 2027,” said Ioane. “I’m grateful to represent the city of Auckland and, right now, this is the best place for me, my family and my rugby.
“I’m keen to continue building on what we have at the Blues and the All Blacks. I have goals I want to achieve on the domestic and international stage, so this is a commitment to completing those while cementing a legacy.”
In February, The Roar website reported Ioane was poised to join an exodus that includes senior internationals like Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock and Ardie Savea.
He was expected to join Ricoh Black Rams in the Japanese League One, but at the time, he denied the rumours.
As part of his contract, Ioane will take a sabbatical in 2025, although no details have yet been disclosed.
“This is great news,” said All Blacks head coach Ian Foster. “Rieko has grown immensely as a person and a player, and having him commit to NZR and the All Blacks for the next four years is a massive boost for our team.”
More to come