The Wellington Lions have kept one of their most most experienced players for the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup after wing Julian Savea signed on for the campaign.
Despite only being 27, Savea has played more than 200 first class games for Wellington, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks.
Wellington Lions head coach Chris Gibbes was delighted to again have the services of Savea who played an important part in the side winning the Mitre 10 Cup Championship in 2017.
"You can't put a value on how much a player like Julian can bring to a squad in this competition," Gibbes said.
"We saw it last year with what he contributed on and off the field and we are delighted he has again put himself forward to be one of the squad's key leaders."
Savea will join the likes of veteran loose forward Thomas Waldrom who will shortly return to Wellington after a successful stint in the United Kingdom.
"We know as a coaching group how much knowledge these guys will pass on to the younger guys and how much of an example they will be. We also know they are really passionate about Wellington rugby and they want to to see the side succeed."
Savea said he was looking forward to Wellington returning to the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership and building on what they achieved last season.
"I'm still really keen to be part of the set-up again and doing my best to contribute as much as I can to the squad," he said.
"The desire I have to play for Wellington is still really strong as is my determination to continue to play well in New Zealand."