All Blacks duo re-sign with NZRU

Jeremy Thrush and Dane Coles have re-signed with the NZRU. Photo / Getty Images
Jeremy Thrush and Dane Coles have re-signed with the NZRU. Photo / Getty Images

Hooker Dane Coles and lock Jeremy Thrush, two more recent additions to the All Blacks fraternity, have re-signed with New Zealand Rugby, their Hurricanes franchise and Wellington province.

Coles, who has played six tests for the All Blacks, more than 50 games for the Hurricanes and 66 matches for Wellington, has signed for three more seasons through to the end of 2016. With Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu coming towards the end of their test careers, Coles is seen as part of the next generation of All Blacks hookers.

Thrush, who made his test debut at lock in the recent series against France and is a senior member of the Hurricanes with close to 80 caps and 65 for Wellington, has signed through to 2015.

Coles, 26, now has some solid test match experience after first earning his All Blacks call-up on last year's end of year tour which followed some compelling and livewire performances for the Hurricanes and Wellington.

He started the first two tests in the recent France series before a calf strain ruled him out of selection for the third test. He made his provincial debut in 2007 and Super Rugby debut in 2009 and quickly gained a reputation as a fast, mobile hooker.

"I am really proud of what I have achieved so far with Wellington, the Hurricanes and All Blacks but keen to build on that so I was definitely keen to re-sign for the next few years. I just want to work on all aspects of my game, keep working hard and keep getting better," Coles said.

Thrush brought plenty of experience when he was called into the All Blacks this month - with close to 200 first-class matches under his belt - together with agility in the lineout and mobility around the paddock. The 28-year-old is now in his sixth season with the Hurricanes and captained Wellington last year.

Thrush was the IRB Under 19 Player of the Year in 2004 after a World Championship-winning campaign in South Africa with New Zealand Under 19 alongside Kieran Read and was also part of two New Zealand Under 21 sides (2005-2006) and the Junior All Blacks.

"I have been loving my footy in recent times with Wellington, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks. The last few weeks with the All Blacks has been pretty special, especially making my Test debut, and I'm going to work hard and add to that if I get the opportunity," Thrush said.

Coles and Thrush join a large group of recent All Blacks who have committed to New Zealand rugby for the next few seasons, including captain Richie McCaw, playmaker Daniel Carter and props Ben Franks and Wyatt Crockett and lock Brodie Retallick (all signed to 2015), the All Blacks most capped prop Tony Woodcock and fellow props Owen Franks and Charlie Faumuina, hookers Hikawera Elliot and Corey Flynn, lock Luke Romano, loose forward Victor Vito, halfbacks Piri Weepu, Andy Ellis and Aaron Smith, first five-eighth Aaron Cruden, midfielder Conrad Smith and outside backs Israel Dagg and Cory Jane (all through to 2014).

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