Mo'unga inks new deal with New Zealand Rugby

Super Rugby
by RUGBY.com.au staff

Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo'unga will be staying in New Zealand until at least 2022 with a new deal confirmed on Friday,

The two-time Super Rugby champion Mo'unga made his Test debut last season and played nine Tests, sitting behind Beauden Barrett.

With Barrett off-contract and yet to declare his plans beyond 2019, the door appears open for Mo'unga to play more regular Test rugby in the years to come.

"I'm really fortunate to have had some amazing opportunities with Canterbury, the Crusaders, and the All Blacks, and I feel there is still plenty I want to achieve in New Zealand rugby, which was a huge motivation for me to re-commit.

"I'm really grateful to be part of a club that means a lot to me and that has given me the opportunity to better myself as a rugby player and as a person. I want to keep striving to be the best I can be, which ultimately is why I've made the decision to stay in this environment."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, whose tenure will finish after the World Cup, said he was looking forward to watching Mo'unga continue to grow.

 "Congratulations to Richie on his re-signing.  He is developing into a very good rugby player and it's great that he's staying, as he is only going to get better and better.

"He made a great start last year in his first All Blacks season and we look forward to him going to an even higher level this year. It'll be exciting to watch just how far he can go."

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said Mo'unga's composure under pressure was a reflection of his potential in rugby.

"Richie is world class - at just 24 years old he's quickly established himself as an integral member of our squad and a leading first five-eighth in Super Rugby," he said.

"We're proud of his ability to step up and make big plays under pressure. He's proved that over the past three seasons with the Crusaders and was rewarded for his consistency with selection in the All Blacks.

"Richie has a big future in the game and it's exciting that his playing future is with the Crusaders."

The Crusaders take on the Lions on Friday April 16 at AMI Park, Christchurch, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Kayo Sports.