New Zealand
Aaron Smith inks new deal through to 2019
ESPN Staff
August 26, 2015
Aaron Smith has established himself as the world's premier scrum-half © Getty Images

All Blacks half-back Aaron Smith has committed to four more years with New Zealand Rugby.

The world-class 26-year-old, who has played 41 Tests, will also maintain his ties with the Highlanders at Super Rugby level and with Manawatu at provincial level until 2019.

""I'm really excited and thankful for the commitment shown from New Zealand Rugby, including the Highlanders and Manawatu Turbos," Smith said via a NZ Rugby media release.

"Knowing I'm contracted for the next four years allows me to focus on my rugby and there are some exciting challenges ahead for the All Blacks which I hope to be part of. Dunedin is my home and I wouldn't want to play my Super Rugby anywhere else; the Highlanders brotherhood is something pretty special and I can't wait for next season."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Smith's experience would prove vital as New Zealand prepares to farewell stalwarts Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock after the Rugby World Cup.

"It's outstanding news for Aaron and for the All Blacks," Hansen said. "With a number of senior players leaving at the end of this year, Aaron and other players will play a key role in the team as we face the exciting challenges coming up over that period, including the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017. We look forward to working with him."

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