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Rieko Ioane's powerful statement 8 minutes ago

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All Blacks wing Reiko Ioane. Credits: Image - Getty, video - Newshub.

"The black jersey is enough for me and it's enough to keep me here."

It’s impossible to overstate just how powerful those words - from arguably the brightest rugby talent on the planet - could prove to be for New Zealand Rugby in its escalating battle to retain the best players in the country over coming years.

These were not words penned by a communications manager and distributed in a press release. They came candidly, authentically, from the mouth of Rieko Ioane, as he fronted media on Friday, after confirmation of his four-year deal with NZ Rugby through until the end of the 2022 season.

NZR bosses themselves couldn't have written a message more valuable or timely.

Intended or not, Ioane's words provided the perfect response to Lima Sopoaga's........

© Newshub