All Blacks and Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett will play rugby in New Zealand into his mid-30s after signing a three-year deal.
Powerful loosehead Crockett, 32, has spurned offshore advances and will stay put until at least the end of 2018.
It extends a career which began with Canterbury in 2005 and the Crusaders a year later. He has played 153 Super Rugby games, a franchise record and the fourth-most by any player.
His Test debut was in 2009 but 25 of his 36 Tests have been played over the last two years as he became a viable option to wear the No.1 jersey when veteran Tony Woodcock was unavailable.
Crockett says overseas options were never seriously considered.
“Canterbury, the Crusaders and the All Blacks have been my teams since day one. I can’t imagine ever pulling on the jersey for any other teams, so I always knew that I would be playing out my rugby career here,” he said.
“I have been living my dream playing footy here and I feel so privileged to be able to continue living that dream for the next few years at least.”
Crockett says this year’s World Cup and playing against the 2017 British and Irish Lions tourists are obvious international goals.
He also wants to help re-establish the Crusaders as a leading Super Rugby force after they missed this season’s play-offs for the first time in 14 years.
Crockett’s signature follows the recent deals confirmed by wing Julian Savea, lock Brodie Retallick and hooker Dane Coles, who have all committed until 2019.