Ioane brothers sign long-term contract with New Zealand Rugby and Blues

The duo will continue to be part of Auckland Blues
The duo will continue to be part of Auckland Blues
©PA

New Zealand Rugby has confirmed that Rieko and Akira Ioane have signed new deals with the national board, Blues and Auckland Rugby.

Both the Ioane brothers made their professional rugby debut with Auckland province in 2015 and has been an integral part of the club since then. Rieko made his Super Rugby debut for Blues in 2016 and has signed a four-year deal that will keep him with the province until 2022.

Reiko, who made his debut for New Zealand at the age of 19 has played 18 Tests for the All Blacks in which he scored 18 tries.

“I feel incredibly privileged to get the opportunity to play my rugby here for another four years," he said.

"I want to give it my best shot at serving the black jersey and, hopefully, I’ll get the chance to play at the Rugby World Cup in the future. That’s a huge motivator for me.

“It was obviously tough this year for the Blues, but I feel we’re on the verge of something special and I want to be a part of that journey.

"Auckland is my home, it’s where I grew up and it’s the city that made me as a rugby player, so I want to do my bit to help it move forward.”

Meanwhile, Akira, who had been part of New Zealand U20 and New Zealand 7s sides in the past has signed a deal until the end of the 2021 season.

“It was important for me to stay in Auckland and at the Blues because it’s my home and I want to help the teams in this city succeed. I also want to keep playing my best rugby and try and make it back into the All Blacks again," said Akira.

“It will also be special sharing the next few years with my brother and representing our family out on the footy field.”

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