Lienert-Brown and Blackadder sign new deals with New Zealand Rugby

Lienert-Brown and Blackadder sign new deals with New Zealand Rugby

Tireless flanker Ethan Blackadder and exciting centre Anton Lienert-Brown have both signed new deals with New Zealand Rugby.

Lienert-Brown inked a new deal with the governing body that will keep him with the Chiefs, All Blacks and Waikato through to the end of 2026.

Blackadder has re-signed for the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby, keeping him in the country until 2025.

Lienert-Brown, who returned to action from an ankle injury to make his 100th appearance for the Chiefs earlier this month, is delighted to further his career in familiar surroundings.

"The constant challenge to better myself by competing against elite players was something I thought about a lot when making this decision," he said. "I feel like I've still got something to prove to myself.

"I'm excited by what we are building at the Chiefs Rugby Club and very proud to represent the Waikato region. That, along with the love I have for the black jersey, is what motivates me to keep giving my all in New Zealand."

Since making his Test debut against the Wallabies in 2016, the 28-year-old from Christchurch has been a reliable performer for New Zealand over the last seven seasons.

He has played in 60 Tests so far which makes him the fourth most-capped midfielder in the team's history behind Tana Umaga (74), Conrad Smith (94) and Ma'a Nonu (103).

"To have Anton recommit to the All Blacks is fantastic. His experience and contribution is of the highest quality," said All Blacks head coach Ian Foster.

Blackadder joined the Crusaders in 2018 and has since won five Super Rugby titles, becoming one of their key performers in the process.

The 25-year-old is delighted to have signed for the club where he is very settled and he looks forward to continuing his time in Christchurch.

"It's pretty special to be staying with the Crusaders, a club that I love playing rugby for," Blackadder said.

"We have a great team and a great culture on and off the field, so I'm stoked to continue to be a part of that. But most importantly, I get to keep playing rugby with my mates."

Meanwhile, the flanker received huge praise from head coach Scott Robertson who believes Blackadder typifies everything it is to be a Crusader.

"Ethan represents everything that the Crusaders are. He's strong, he's humble, he's a team player, and he shows a lot of care for his club and his teammates," Robertson said.

"To have him locked in here until 2025 is huge for both club and country."