Wellington - All Blacks backrower Keiran Read and lock Sam Whitelock have re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union to the end of the 2017 season.
The pair will also play Super Rugby for the Christchurch-based Crusaders over the same, four-year period.
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew called the signings "significant with the tenure of the players' contracts covering two major rugby events — the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the British and Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand in 2017."
The 27-year-old Read has regularly captained the All Blacks this season in the absence of Richie McCaw and was Man of the Match in New Zealand's 38-27 win over South Africa a week ago which clinched the Rugby Championships.
Whitelock is only 24 but already has played 47 tests and is acknowledged as one of the top locks in world rugby.