In further good news for the Highlanders, following the recent re-signing of halfback Aaron Smith, All Blacks hooker Liam Coltman has also re-signed with his Super Rugby club and New Zealand Rugby through to 2022.

29-year-old Coltman, Highlanders #199, has made 92 Highlanders appearances since his debut in 2013 for the southernmost club. After serving his apprenticeship as the back-up hooker in 2013 to All Black Andrew Hore, he eventually started 14 times in 2014 before being an important part of the Super Rugby championship-winning team in 2015. He debuted for the All Blacks in 2016 and has played four Tests.

Originally from New Plymouth, Coltman played with fellow All Black Beauden Barrett at Francis Douglas Memorial College, before transferring to Otago.  He made his debut for them in 2010 and played for New Zealand Under 20 at the Junior World Cup in the same year

Coltman said he was happy to have the opportunity to stay in Dunedin.

“It’s good to have the next few years sorted out. I have enjoyed my time in Dunedin and I love the lifestyle down here and the easy access to the outdoor pursuits I enjoy. My family and I are grateful to New Zealand Rugby and to the Highlanders for the opportunity to continue our commitment to Otago and the Highlanders.”

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said: “It’s fantastic to get another All Black to commit to the Highlanders over the next few years. We appreciate all players have choices these days and to have Liam choose the Highlanders is exciting.”

“Liam is a humble and quietly-spoken person who has a fantastic work ethic and is a model professional,” added Highlanders Head Coach Aaron Mauger.

“He never gives less than his best and his consistency of performance is due in large part to his meticulous preparation and uncompromising approach. I am certainly glad for Liam and his family that his future for the next few years at least is with the Highlanders.”

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen added: “Colty is the ultimate team man and has been patient in our environment and made the most of his opportunities. He puts in a lot of hard work around the team and is always looking to improve as a footy player.  We’re glad he’ll be doing that in New Zealand for the next few years.”     

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