Star Crusaders five-eighth Richie Mo'unga has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby on a three-year deal in a major coup for the All Blacks.
One of the rising playmakers of world rugby, the 24-year-old has shunned serious offshore interest to remain in Christchurch until at least 2022.
Mo'unga's main impact until now has been at Super Rugby level, playing a key part in the Crusaders' romping to the last two titles and forging a sizeable ladder lead at the midway point this season.
He has played nine Tests and one midweek game for the All Blacks but has been forced to show patience as his position is occupied by two-time world player of the year Beauden Barrett.
Mo'unga has supporters who believe he is a better fit at No.10 for the world champions than even Barrett but coach Steve Hansen has said the youngster must earn his stripes.
Both players are certainties to be in the New Zealand team who will seek a third straight World Cup triumph in Japan later this year.
"I'm really fortunate to have had some amazing opportunities with Canterbury, the Crusaders, and the All Blacks, and I feel there is still plenty I want to achieve in New Zealand rugby, which was a huge motivation for me to re-commit," Mo'unga said.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said Mo'unga shows all the hallmarks of being a match-influencing player for many years to come.
"We're proud of his ability to step up and make big plays under pressure. He's proved that over the past three seasons with the Crusaders," Robertson said.