Blues No 8 Hoskins Sotutu has inked a new two-year deal that will keep him in Auckland until at least 2022.
Sotutu caused a stir in recent weeks when he revealed to the Herald that he was eligible for New Zealand, Fiji and England, the latter nation through his mother.
Subsequent reports from the north suggested England coach Eddie Jones was keen to lure Sotutu, but with the prospect of an All Blacks jersey on the radar the 21-year-old has recommitted to New Zealand rugby.
Sotutu has been a standout this season averaging 50m per game, the fourth best in Super Rugby Aotearoa. He also averages eight tackles per game and is top of the tackle count with 38 in three outings.
Blues coach Leon MacDonald said Sotutu had initially indicated his desire to re-sign earlier but the Covid-19 lockdown had stalled the formalities.
"He has a unique skillset which is well-rounded. He has set up tries with his kicking and with accurate missed passes yet he can do the core roles of carrying hard, offloading, making his tackles and an asset in the lineout," MacDonald said.
"Hoskins got his chance with the work he did pre-season and has continued to deliver game-in, game-out, and he is developing from a very quiet teenager to a real contributor off the field also.
"He has come out of the Blues and Auckland systems and if he continues to develop with the same attitude, he can look forward to a long and successful career with us."
Sotutu played several sports as a young teenager before taking the advice of his father, former Fiji, Blues and Auckland wing Waisake Sotutu, to "give rugby a good shot" when he was 17, playing two years for the Sacred Heart College first XV.
He began his rugby life as a winger, like his father, moving to lock, and even first-five for club in his first year out of school, before settling at No 8.
"I have signed for two more years with the Blues which is great," Sotutu said. "My goals are for the Blues to kick-on in this competition how we left off before Covid-19, keep the team strong and help them continue to improve.
"It is all about the team for me. I don't like to look too far ahead. I like to focus on the team I am playing for."