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All Blacks hooker Dane Coles re-signs with NZ Rugby, Hurricanes until 2021

Dane Coles has decided to keep his talent on New Zealand shores after extending his contract with New Zealand Rugby and the Hurricanes through to 2021.

The 60-Test All Black confirmed his decision to stay this morning, quelling rumours he was eyeing a move offshore to continue his career in Japan.

"I still feel like there are things that I want to achieve in New Zealand with teams that mean a lot to me," Coles said.

"Missing all of last year's Super Rugby season with injury made me realise just how much I missed being out there for the Hurricanes and I want more time in the jersey."

It comes after the 32-year-old worked his way back from a serious knee injury late in 2017 while on tour for the All Blacks which saw him sidelined for almost a year - missing an entire Super Rugby season in the process.

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles.
All Blacks training ahead of the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship test match at Eden Park this weekend. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Thursday 23 August 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
All Blacks hooker Dane Coles. Source: Photosport

But the hooker made a successful return to the international stage during last year's Northern Tour, donning the black jersey for the first time in 12 months in the All Blacks' 69-31 win over the Brave Blossoms in Japan.

He followed that up with an appearance off the bench in the All Blacks' 16-15 win over England and did the same a week later in the team's 16-9 loss to Ireland.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen welcomed Coles' decision.

"Dane is a valued member of the All Blacks group. He is an important leader on and off the field and passionate advocate for the game and the All Blacks," Hansen said.

"His is an important asset to any team he plays for and we’re all very happy he has re-signed."

Coles made his debut for the All Blacks against Scotland in Edinburgh in 2012 and has since won the World Cup once, playing against the Wallabies as the starting hooker in the 2015 final at Twickenham.

Coles could look to follow up the act in Japan later this year after his return to international rugby earned praise from teammates and coaching staff alike.

"It is inspiring for someone about for that long to come back and it's like he never left - it's very inspiring," fellow hooker Codie Taylor said.

Domestically, Coles has played 100 Super Rugby games for the Hurricanes despite missing all of 2018 and 67 appearances for Wellington - including two Mitre 10 Cup matches last year to test his fitness before returning to the All Blacks.

New Hurricanes coach John Plumtree said he was delighted Coles was staying with the club.

"It's fantastic for everyone here that Dane will continue to lead us and be as influential as he is," he said.

"You can never under-estimate just how much he has to offer with his experience and just how much respect he has within our squad and within our coaching group."

Coles will be 35 when his new deal comes to an end.

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    The hooker has returned to Test rugby after an injury ravaged year. Source: 1 NEWS


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