Ngatai pens new Chiefs deal
Cape Town - The Chiefs have announced the re-signing of All
Blacks centre Charlie Ngatai, with the 25-year-old committing to the
Hamilton-based outfit for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The announcement comes just days after the influential back
was named in the 2016 All Blacks squad for the upcoming series against Wales.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie commented: "We’re very
pleased to have secured a player of Charlie’s calibre for the next two years on
the back of another impressive season from him.
"His skill-set is a real point of difference; he’s very
quick, has great footwork and his distribution and kicking game at inside
centre is exceptional.
"What’s been a real feature of his, is his ability to
create space for himself and others. Charlie makes a massive contribution to
the Chiefs as one of our leaders, he is a highly respected team-mate and a good
Ngatai shared his reasons for re-signing with the two-time
Super Rugby champions.
"The opportunity to play for the Chiefs and All Blacks
was a massive driver for me in signing for a further two years," he said.
"I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Chiefs in
particular the good coaching, culture and the great bunch of boys that are
awesome to play alongside.
"Looking ahead I want to keep developing my game and
performing well to hopefully win another Championship with the Chiefs and
ultimately earn some time in the black jersey."
Ngatai was destined for big things from an early age. The
national age grade sprint champion and former Gisborne Boys High School 1st XV
skipper made his first-class debut for Poverty Bay while still at school.
In 2009 at just 18-years of age, Ngatai debuted for
Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup going on to play 39 games for the side before
heading north to join Taranaki in 2014.
A central figure in the Port Taranaki Bulls, Ngatai helped
his team to their first ever Mitre 10 Cup Premiership win in his debut year
with the side.
Ngatai’s national representative career continues to
flourish. He played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools side in 2007 and
2008, and was part of the Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand U20
team in 2010. Ngatai is a member of the Ngati Porou and Te Whanau-a-Apanui iwi,
and has played for the Maori All Blacks since 2012, captaining the side for the
past two years.
In 2015 Ngatai made his debut for the All Blacks against
Samoa in Apia. He backed up his impressive first outing in the black jersey
four days later when he captained the Maori All Blacks against Fiji.
Ngatai joined the Chiefs in 2013, winning the Super Rugby
title in his first season. He has played 39 games for the Chiefs to date.