Crusaders outside back Leicester Fainga'anuku has turned down outside offers from both rugby and league to re-sign with the Christchurch franchise for another two years.
Fainga'anuku, who joined the Crusaders in 2019, admitted to fielding interest from "both codes" before putting pen to paper to stick with the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions until 2023.
"I guess I would be lying if there wasn't any other interest elsewhere," he said. "I definitely took a lot of meetings and talked to a few key people.
"At the end of the day, I owe this jersey a lot. I've still got a lot to give at the age of 21. Looking to the next two years, I'm just looking to bleed for this region and the people that support it."
As a 15-year-old, Fainga'anuku was close to signing a contract with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL before Tasman made a bold play to convince him to stay in New Zealand and play union.
Fainga'anuku grew up playing league and has been open about his love for the sport in the past, but thanks to some guidance from his father, he ended up staying home and pursuing rugby.
"It's something I've always kept my mind open to," he said of his interest in league. "I think since I decided to switch from league to union, it's always still been a dream.
"But at the same time, I've still got a lot to give to this game in the rugby union world. At the age of 21, looking to the next two years, I'm looking to just give it my all."
After making just one appearance in his debut season, Fainga'anuku was offered more opportunities in the red and black last year, featuring regularly off the bench.
This season, he's taken his game to the next level and has become a key member of Scott Robertson's team – playing at both centre and wing 13 times this year – and will likely be on the All Blacks selectors' radar ahead of the international season.
The 21-year-old says being part of the Crusaders team culture and learning from the experienced players like David Havili was another reason why he decided to stay in Christchurch.
"I think one of the reasons why I stuck around with the Crusaders, looking at the big factor there is I've got a coach here and players who have guided me since I've left school and I've been under their wing since – that's [assistant coach] Andrew Goodman and David Havili.
"I think the opportunity to play in the centre role next to a player like David Havili makes it so much easier. And the character he has to give me confidence and be able to just play my game next to him makes my job easier.
"I guess when I was brainstorming whether to put pen to paper, I realised that this club has invested a lot in me since the day I left school and they've looked after myself and my family. I think signing for the next two years is a way for me to give back to, not just the organisation itself, but my family and also the people who believed in me to get to where I am today and the supporters especially."