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Savea, Barrett join All Blacks’ 2019 World Cup defence

Loose forward Ardie Savea (top L) has played 25 Tests since 2016 for the All Blacks © AFP/File / Marty MELVILLE

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jul 16The All Blacks retained two of their top young talents Monday when Ardie Savea and Jordie Barrett agreed to stay with the world champions for their Rugby World Cup defence in Japan next year.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said Savea and Barrett signed contract extensions with the All Blacks and Wellington Hurricanes Super Rugby team until the end of the 2019 season.

Loose forward Savea, 24, has played 25 Tests since 2016, while 21-year-old back Barrett has earned five caps since his debut last year.

“It’s great to have two young players recommitting to New Zealand Rugby and their Super club,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

“Ardie and Jordie are both incredibly talented footballers in their own right, have been outstanding in our environment and done the jersey proud and we look forward to working with both of them.”

Jordie is the youngest of three Barrett siblings to play for the All Blacks, Beauden is the team’s incumbent fly-half and Scott is a regular Test player at lock.

Ardie’s elder brother Julian will depart for French club Toulon at the end of the Super Rugby season after racking up 54 Test caps, including during the successful 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.

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