New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed Brad Weber has put pen to paper on a new contract that will guarantee his commitment through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
The new two-year arrangement also applies to his club future with the Chiefs, who will be happy to retain the services of their All Black for the next two seasons.
There were suggestions the 30-year-old was contemplating taking his talents abroad like so many of his New Zealand team-mates, but Weber will stay put in Hamilton until after the next World Cup.
New Zealand Rugby announced on Thursday that Weber—who has made 98 appearances for the Chiefs—had recommitted and was happy to have reached an agreement.
“I’m really pleased to have signed with NZR and the Gallagher Chiefs till 2023. My season with the Chiefs this past year was one of the most enjoyable I have had,” the Hawkes Bay native said.
“I love the plan that the Chiefs have in place for the next two years, something that is very exciting for the players and our fans alike, and which is something I definitely want to be a part of. The potential to play 100 games for the Gallagher Chiefs next year is a massive goal of mine that I would love to achieve.
“As always, I love representing the All Blacks. I do not take for granted whenever I am selected and am looking forward to growing my role within the team whilst representing my family on the world stage.”
Weber—who has earned 10 caps for the All Blacks—requires just two more appearances to hit that century for the Chiefs, who made it to the final of this year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa.
He served as co-captain alongside Sam Cane as the team lost out to the Crusaders, hoping to improve in 2022 following Warren Gatland’s return as coach.
Interim Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan praised his No. 9 as a leader figure for the side following news of his extension: “Brad is a key leader within our squad and had a standout season this year as a Gallagher Chiefs co-captain. He is an incredibly talented and experienced halfback, leading from the front with his consistent performances, effective attack and reliable support play.
“He has been exceptional both on and off the field for us and we look forward to hopefully adding him to our prolific list of club centurions next year.”
Weber made his All Blacks debut in July 2015, but it was another four years before he earned his second New Zealand cap, recovering from a broken leg in between those milestones.
He’s now among the scrum-half rotation that sees Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara as his main competition, with the latter having also recently signed a new contract until 2023.
Blues star Finlay Christie and Folau Fakatava of the Highlanders could enter that conversation as two particularly promising half-backs on the rise, however.
Weber was part of the squad that travelled to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where New Zealand finished third.
He’ll hope to also figure in their 2023 squad when New Zealand begin their bid for a fourth World Cup crown in France, by which point he should be an established Super Rugby centurion.
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