8 Apr 2015

Luatua re-signs with New Zealand Rugby, Blues

3:50 pm on 8 April 2015

All Black Steven Luatua has pledged his allegiance to the Blues and New Zealand Rugby for a further two years, re-signing through to the end of the 2017 season.

Steven Luatua scores against the Wallabies, Eden Park 2014.

Steven Luatua scores against the Wallabies, Eden Park 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Luatua says he's had offers from clubs in England and he admits the money on offer is tempting, especially for guys like him who did not have much growing up.

But the 23-year-old said he was still growing as a player and was yet to hit his best, and the pull of the All Blacks jersey was a key part of the attraction in staying, as he has unfinished business in New Zealand.

"My old man likes the challenge that New Zealand presents and so do I - there are a lot of things I haven't accomplished yet," Luatua says.

"I'm looking to try and tick those things off before looking overseas... I want to be an All Black for a long time."

Luatua's re-signing comes as a boost to the Blues, who are winless so far this Super Rugby season and lost fellow internationals Charles Piutau and Frances Saili to big overseas contracts in the last week.

Luatua's played a lot of rugby coming through the grades with Piutau, but Luatua says he's at a different stage in life to Piutau, and his young family played a part in his decision to stay.

Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan says he believes Luatua would prove to be a great All Black by the time he finished his career.

"Steven is a special player who matches his extraordinary skills with great character as a person, a physical presence and intelligence," Sir John says.

"He has quickly become a key member of our leadership group and his maturity as a rugby player and a person definitely defies his years."

NZR General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen says the contract is tremendous news.

"He is still a young player but with more than 40 Super Rugby games and 14 Test matches already under his belt, he has already shown he has the skills and physical presence to succeed at the highest level and we welcome his ongoing contribution to our game over the next few years," Sorensen says.

Luatua will come off the bench for the Blues in his eighth straight game, as the team finally returns to Eden Park for the first time this season to play the Brumbies on Friday night.

With the Cricket World Cup taking Eden Park out of the equation, the Blues have only played one home game in Auckland so far, at North Harbour Stadium.