Tamanivalu turns down Chiefs

Seta Tamanivalu has re-signed with the Crusaders.

Powerful utility back Tamanivalu had been chased by Colin Cooper about a move back to Hamilton, confirming he had spoken to the incoming Chiefs coach on the phone.

However, the three-test All Black has decided to spend a second season with the Crusaders and said it was a relatively straight-forward decision when he thought about how much he has been enjoying this first year with the team.
"I have been loving playing for this team and learning from the coaches and players around me.

"This has been such a special season for all of us ... with so many highlights and great memories, and the best is yet to come.

"There were options to go overseas, but I am not ready to walk away from all of the good stuff here just yet."

Born in Fiji and a former under-18 Fijian rugby league representative, Tamanivalu burst onto the New Zealand rugby scene in 2012 when he was selected in the Taranaki national provincial team.

In 2013, he was named Taranaki's most promising player of the year and in 2014 he was recognised as New Zealand's player of the year in the national provincial competition.

He debuted for the All Blacks in 2016 during the three test series against Wales.
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson praised Tamanivalu for the important contribution he has made to the team, on and off the field, in his first season.
"Seta came here with a winning attitude and a desire to make an impact on this team. There is no doubt that he has done that," Robertson said.

"The boys love having him around because of his fun-loving nature and cheeky humour, but then he takes the field and transforms into this threatening, potent attacking force. We love that about him and we are excited that we will be able to continue working with his natural talents in 2018."

Tamanivalu will face the team that launched his Super Rugby career on Saturday when the Crusaders host the Chiefs in the Super Rugby semifinals.

Tamanivalu joined the Chiefs in 2015 but moved south to play his third Super Rugby season with the Christchurch-based Crusaders this year.


Photo: GETTY IMAGES (Three-test All Black Seta Tamanivalu will be at the Crusaders for at least one more year).