Mealamu signs new contract

Veteran hooker to remain in New Zealand

By Jessica Bridge.   Last Updated: 19/04/11 9:03am

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Mealamu: Remaining loyal

Mealamu: Remaining loyal

Sky Bet

Keven Mealamu has put pen-to-paper meaning he will remain in New Zealand until 2013.

The two-year-deal will also see the hooker stay put with the Blues in the Super 15.

The New Zealand Rugby Union are hoping other players follow in the hooker's footsteps by staying in the country rather than moving to Europe for big-money deals.

Loyalty

Throughout his career Mealamu has received backing from the national squad and the Blues and he says this is his way of showing his gratitude.

"I have always hoped I could repay the support I have been given, by showing my continued loyalty to New Zealand," he said.

The veteran is currently the fourth-most capped player with 83 Tests to his name and All Blacks coach Graham Henry is delighted with Mealamu's decision.

"Kevie is a very important part of the All Blacks team, he is part of our leadership group and is a very special man," said Henry.

Other post World Cup signings include back Conrad Smith, prop Tony Woodcock and loose forward Kieran Read, however captain Richie McCaw and other high profile players Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams are yet to commit their future.

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