All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg to stay with NZ Rugby

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All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg.

All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg. (Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby and the Christchurch-based Crusaders through the 2019 World Cup.

Dagg's decision came only days after fellow utility back Ben Smith fended off lucrative offers from France to extend his contract with New Zealand Rugby to 2020.

The 28-year-old Dagg, a veteran of 61 tests, had been pursued by French club Toulon and Irish club Leinster before deciding his future remained in New Zealand.

Dagg says "there were some attractive offers to consider. But at the end of the day I love my life here in New Zealand with my family, friends and teammates and I'm not ready to give that up."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen described the re-signing of Dagg and Smith as "a massive achievement.2

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