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One of Bay of Plenty rugby’s most promising players has committed to another two years with the proud province.
Double world champion, flanker Luke Braid, has agreed terms with the union in a deal which should see him in blue and gold until at least the end of the 2010 season, although he does have an out-clause if he misses out on the Chiefs’ wider training group.
Braid’s management company Inside Running received several offers for him to go elsewhere but the 19-year-old was determined to show some loyalty to the Steamers.
“I still feel I’m developing as a rugby player and Bay of Plenty players have shown they can make the step up to the national stage from this level,” Braid said.
BOPRU chief executive Jeremy Curragh said Braid’s acquisition was extremely valuable for the union.
“Luke has won two world championships, with the New Zealand under-19s last year and with the New Zealand junior team this year, and at each tournament he’s been one of the stars,” Curragh said. “It was crucial that we keep Luke in the Bay and it shows other rising stars the pathways that can be created by remaining here.” Curragh went on to say “This confirms Bay of Plenty provides an excellent stepping stone to achieving higher honours”.
Curragh was also confident of retaining the bulk of this year’s Air New Zealand Cup squad and expects to have more signings confirmed in the next fortnight.
Braid is currently in London, where he will attend the IRB Awards as a finalist in the international junior player of the year category.