News in Brief
Sivivatu re-signs with NZRU
Sivivatu will stay with the NZRU until after the 2011 World Cup
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- All Blacks wing Sitiveni Sivivatu has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union until after the 2011 World Cup, joining a host of key All Blacks stars who have extended their NZRU contracts.
The Chiefs and Waikato speedster is currently unavailable for selection for the All Blacks' matches against France because he is recovering from an injured shoulder.
The 27-year-old said: "I discussed my future with my family and we decided that our future is here in New Zealand. I love playing in the black jersey - as well as for the Chiefs and Waikato - and that's why I have re-signed."
NZRU CEO Steve Tew was also delighted to re-sign the paceman who has scored 24 Test tries in 34 matches. Tew said: "Rugby fans both here in New Zealand and overseas know just how much of a remarkable player Sitiveni is and we are delighted to have him re-sign with New Zealand rugby."
Sivivatu joins a host of household names staying on with the NZRU beyond the tournament in New Zealand in two years time, including Richie McCaw, Rodney So'oialo, Keven Mealamu, Mils Muliaina, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock and Dan Carter.
"We are very pleased with the number of players that we have contracted through for the next few years. We have always said that, while we can't compete with the dollars which are available to some players overseas, we have a great rugby environment here in New Zealand which gives our players the chance to express themselves," Tew added.
- Stormers and South Africa flanker Schalk Burger has re-signed with the Western Province Rugby Union for a further two years, taking him past the next World Cup in 2011. Burger is currently in the South Africa squad set to face the British & Irish Lions, but has been ruled out for the first Test in Durban on Saturday due to a calf injury.
"The Cape is my home, and I am passionate about Province and the Stormers and am very pleased to be contracted to play for a further two years," said Burger. "I believe there is something exciting happening under the current coaching staff and am looking forward to the next two years of rugby in the Cape."
- Former All Black Daniel Braid has overcome the disappointment of missing out on a lucrative contract with the Llanelli Scarlets by signing for the Queensland Reds for a second season.
The flanker was expecting to sign with the Welsh outfit but his contract was ultimately torn up on injury grounds after he ruptured his Achilles towards the end of the Super 14.
Despite the setback Braid is excited about next season with the Reds despite finishing bottom of the Super 14 in their last outing.
The 28-year-old said: "I see the Reds as a team with a lot of potential, so it's great that I can be part of trying to improve the club again. Next year there will also be more consistency in the side as there won't be a large turnover like in the past."
Braid was forced to have surgery on his Achilles and his current rehabilitation period would have ruled him out of the start of the Welsh side's season.
"The last two months has been quite stressful with the injury and having all my plans (to play in Europe) go up in smoke really," he said.
"I know that I don't have to play until the Super 14 now, so it is a good window to get some rehab in and get my Achilles right."
The signing is a boost for the Reds after they lost the services of Australian forward Hugh McMeniman to an overseas contract.