All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty re-signs with Crusaders
Last Updated: 17/07/17 10:00am
All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty has rejected offers from overseas to sign up for another year in New Zealand with the Crusaders.
Crotty has played 27 Tests in the four years since his debut and has become a crucial member of a New Zealand midfield that had to be overhauled after the retirements of Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu in 2015.
"I like to take things one year at a time and when I thought about where I could picture myself in 2018, I just didn't feel like my time here in New Zealand was up yet," Crotty said in a New Zealand Rugby news release.
"I still get a thrill each time I pull on the black or red and black jerseys and ... I genuinely think I have my best rugby in me yet."
A sign of his importance to the organisation of New Zealand's backline, particularly in defence, came when he was rushed back from a rib injury to play in the opening Test against the British and Irish Lions last month.
The 28-year-old lasted only half an hour before being replaced because of a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the rest of the series, however, but is hoping to return in the Crusaders' Super Rugby quarter-final against the Otago Highlanders this weekend.
"We are delighted that 'Crotts' has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
"He's an incredibly valuable member of the All Blacks, is a smart footballer and provides us with a cool, calm, collected presence in the midfield."