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All Blacks trio re-sign with NZ Rugby and the Chiefs

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allblacks.com     21 Aug 2013     Getty Images

The re-signing of the trio is a continuing boost for New Zealand Rugby with a large group of players now committed through to the Rugby World Cup year and beyond.

29-year-old loose forward Messam, who this year co-captained the Chiefs to back to back victories in the Investec Super Rugby Competition, said his decision to re-sign was easy to make: "It was the right time and place for my family to stay. I love playing my rugby for the Chiefs as well as the All Blacks and there is no other place I'd want to be right now than here in New Zealand."

21-year-old fellow loosie Sam Cane added: "I am a proud Chiefs man and also love wearing the black jersey and playing for my country. The coaching staffs and group of guys I play with in both teams certainly makes the future very exciting."

23-year-old halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow said. "Being part of the All Blacks is a dream come true but I know I have to work hard to maintain my spot, firstly in the Chiefs and to push for further opportunities in the All Blacks. I have access to the best coaches in the world and am really enjoying all the environments that the variety of New Zealand rugby offers. I still have a lot to learn and feel this is the best place for me to do that."

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "The three players are outstanding men all in their own right and all bring something special to the group. Liam is a natural leader and key member of the All Blacks, while Sam and Tawera have also impressed us since coming into the All Blacks in the past two years. We congratulate all three on making a commitment to New Zealand Rugby."

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is rapt to have the trio recommit to his side going forward.

"Liam is an incredibly inspirational and passionate Chiefs man who has had a massive impact on our group of men, while Sam and Tawera are two terrific young men who have been a big part of the success at the Chiefs over the last couple of years. At such a young age they have already won two Investec Super Rugby titles, played for the All Blacks and are a key part of the Chiefs future.

Liam Messam has played 23 Tests for the All Blacks, 114 matches for the Chiefs, and 84 games for his Waikato province. Sam Cane has played eight Tests for the All Blacks, 40 matches for the Chiefs and 14 games for Bay of Plenty. Tawera Kerr-Barlow has played five Tests for the All Blacks, 41 matches for the Chiefs and 36 games for Waikato.