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All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala re-signs with New Zealand Rugby, remains in Rugby World Cup picture

Big Blues prop Nepo Laulala remains in contention to play in a second Rugby World Cup.

The tighthead specialist has put any speculation of a move offshore to bed, for now, by recommitting to New Zealand Rugby and the Blues for the 2023 season.

Laulala, 30, has represented the All Blacks in 42 tests and has 99 Super Rugby games under his belt across the Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues.

Nepo Laulala's re-signing with New Zealand Rugby keeps him in the All Blacks frame for next year's world cup.

Joe Allison / Getty Images

Nepo Laulala’s re-signing with New Zealand Rugby keeps him in the All Blacks frame for next year’s world cup.

With the emergence of Tyrel Lomax and Fletcher Newell this seasonLaulala has fallen back in the tighthead hierarchy but with his runs on the board in the test match arena, a breakout Super Rugby Pacific campaign could change that.

He was drafted back into the reserves for the All Blacks Rugby Championship sealing win over the Wallabies at Eden Park.

Laulala made his All Blacks debut in 2015 but missed selection for the victorious All Blacks 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.

He was a starter and key member of the 2019 All Blacks team which was knocked out by England in the semifinals.

Nepo Laulala will be back for playing for the Blues in 2023.

Joe Allison / Getty Images

Nepo Laulala will be back for playing for the Blues in 2023.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald was happy to have Laulala locked in for 2023.

“Nepo’s been an important part of our squad since he returned home to the Auckland region with his family last year and he’s an invaluable part of our tight-five group.

“He’s a quiet family man with strong values ​​but is also a strong contributor to our team discussions – we are pleased to have him back with us for 2023,” MacDonald said.

A qualified builder, Laulala has only signed for 2023, leaving the door open for what could be a lucrative stint overseas for a player of his quality in 2024 and beyond if he chooses that pathway.

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