Another All Black re-signs with the Highlanders

Otago hooker Liam Coltman at training at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson CROPPED
Otago hooker Liam Coltman at training at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo: ODT files
The Highlanders have got a hooker sorted for the next three years.

All Blacks and Otago rake Liam Coltman has re-signed with the Highlanders and New Zealand Rugby through to 2022.

It is the second piece of tremendous news for the franchise recently.

All Black halfback Aaron Smith re-signed for two years earlier this month.

Coltman (29) has made 92 Highlanders appearances since his debut in 2013. After serving his apprenticeship as the back-up hooker in 2013 to All Black Andrew Hore, he eventually started 14 times in 2014 before being an important part of the Super Rugby championship-winning team in 2015.

He debuted for the All Blacks in 2016 and has played four tests.

Originally from New Plymouth, Coltman played with fellow All Black Beauden Barrett at Francis Douglas Memorial College, before transferring to Otago. He made his debut for them in 2010 and played for New Zealand under-20 at the Junior World Cup in the same year.

Coltman said he was happy to have the opportunity to stay in Dunedin.

"It's good to have the next few years sorted out,'' he said in a press release.'

"I have enjoyed my time in Dunedin and I love the lifestyle down here and the easy access to the outdoor pursuits I enjoy. My family and I are grateful to New Zealand Rugby and to the Highlanders for the opportunity to continue our commitment to Otago and the Highlanders.''

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said it was fantastic news.

"We appreciate all players have choices these days and to have Liam choose the Highlanders is exciting,'' Clark said.

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger described Coltman as "a humble and quietly-spoken person who has a fantastic work ethic and is a model professional''.

"He never gives less than his best and his consistency of performance is due in large part to his meticulous preparation and uncompromising approach. I am certainly glad for Liam and his family that his future for the next few years at least is with the Highlanders.''

All Blacks Steve Hansen was also thrilled with the announcement.

"Colty is the ultimate team man and has been patient in our environment and made the most of his opportunities,'' Hansen said.

"He puts in a lot of hard work around the team and is always looking to improve as a footy player.  We're glad he'll be doing that in New Zealand for the next few years.'' 

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