Established All Blacks and Gallagher Chiefs midfielder Anton-Lienert Brown has put pen to paper - committing his long-term future to New Zealand.
24-year-old Lienert-Brown has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and his Gallagher Chiefs Super Rugby team through to 2023. He has also re-signed with his Waikato province through to 2021.
It's a key signing for the organisations, with Lienert-Brown making huge strides since breaking into the professional game in 2014, when he made his Investec Super Rugby and provincial debut. He became a regular starter for the Chiefs in 2016 and was called into the All Blacks squad later that year. Still relatively young, he has already had an impressive career: 43 Tests (24 starts) for the All Blacks, 71 Super Rugby games and 19 games for Waikato.
Lienert-Brown said: "I love playing rugby in New Zealand. The team environments I have been a part of are really special."
The challenge of the competition and team selection keeps me on my toes and drives me to be a better player and person. It's that challenge I enjoy the most and for me there is no better place I want to be, to develop on and off the field.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: "Anton has been a standout for the All Blacks in recent years and we congratulate him on his decision to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby. For someone relatively young, he's been an outstanding and consistent player who I feel is getting better and better. We look forward to seeing more of him this season and beyond."
Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Warren Gatland said: "Anton is an incredibly talented individual and a resourceful midfielder. He is a key leader within our squad and leads from the front with his consistent performances, effective attack and relentless defence. He has been exceptional both on and off the field for the Gallagher Chiefs and we are looking forward to see him continue to grow in our environment."
Meanwhile, Waikato Rugby Union CEO Blair Foote was also delighted to confirm the midfielder's provincial loyalties.
"It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Anton has recommitted to the province. He's an extremely talented midfielder and has consistently started in the midfield for the Chiefs at Super Rugby level and All Blacks at international level since his debut back in 2016.
"We are very proud that Anton continues to represent Waikato on the national stage with the All Blacks and appreciate his contribution to our rugby community as an inspirational and aspirational role model."
Christchurch-born Anton Lienert-Brown was first called into the All Blacks squad for the 2016 Investec Rugby Championship as an injury replacement, a justified reward for his consistent form earlier in the year for the Chiefs during the Super season. By year end, he had nine Test appearances alongside his name, and he added 11 more Test appearances in 2018. He made his Investec Super Rugby debut in 2014 at 18 years old and was also part of the New Zealand Under 20 side that year. He has played 43 Tests (24 starts) for the All Blacks, 71 Super Rugby games and 19 games for Waikato and was a member of the All Blacks RWC2019 squad. Lienert-Brown attended notable rugby school Christchurch Boys' High School and has studied Sports and Leisure at Waikato University. His older brother Daniel is also playing Super Rugby for the Highlanders.