Sensational All Blacks outside back Israel Dagg is here to stay.
28-year-old Dagg has today confirmed that he has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby, the BNZ Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay Magpies through to 2019, spurning offers from overseas to continue playing for the teams he loves.
“There’s no doubt that there were some attractive offers to consider,” Dagg said, “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. I still feel blessed every time I pull on the jersey for the All Blacks, Crusaders or Magpies so I consider it an honour to be able to keep working hard to earn that right for the next three years.”
Dagg’s re-commitment is back-to-back fantastic news for New Zealand Rugby, coming just days after his team mate Ben Smith re-signed with New Zealand Rugby.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “To have a player of Israel’s ability and versatility re-sign is a major lift for all levels of New Zealand Rugby.
“We appreciate the decision ‘Izzy’ and his wife Daisy have made and to be able to plan the future, knowing that we’ll have him involved makes life so much easier for us all, and we look forward to the challenges ahead.
“Having secured two key players back to back, I think it’s important to again pay tribute to all the parties involved in the deal, including the Essentially Group and everyone at New Zealand Rugby. This is a massive achievement and their role in getting two big deals across the line should be recognised.”
BNZ Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson commended Dagg’s sense of loyalty and pride in the teams he represents.
“We have an idea about the sort of offers that players of Israel’s calibre are presented with from overseas, and it can never be easy for a player to turn that down. But Izzy is a player who, for all of his natural talent, has never taken his place in a team for granted. He has experienced disappointment, and that has only increased his appreciation and determination. He is such a positive influence on this team, on and off the field, so we couldn’t be happier to have him sticking around,” Robertson said.
Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union CEO Mike Bishop also added his congratulations.
“Israel’s re-signing with New Zealand Rugby, the Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay is tremendous news and demonstrates his commitment and passion for each of those organisations. His signing for Hawke’s Bay until 2019 will mean he will be a 14- year Magpie, having made his debut in 2006. That places him alongside the greatest and longest-serving players to wear the famous black and white jersey.”
Israel Dagg is All Black No 1101, has played 61 Tests for the All Blacks, and has scored 128 points (24 tries, one conversion, two penalties). He stormed onto the national rugby scene for Hawke’s Bay at Under 16 level, and became one of the few players to be selected for a provincial side while still in high school when he made the Magpies team in 2006. He was selected for the Highlanders in 2009 and made his All Blacks debut against Ireland in June the following year, a week after his 22nd birthday. The Crusaders signed him in 2011 and he has played 74 games for them since. With his Crusaders and Highlanders caps combined, Dagg will mark 100 Super Rugby games the first time he takes the field for the BNZ Crusaders in 2017. He recently announced that he and wife Daisy are expecting their first child.