Shaun Stevenson turns down move to NRL; He was linked to a Queensland club.

Shaun Stevenson, one of rugby union’s brightest talents on the international scene and in the 2023 Super Rugby season, has rejected a transfer to the NRL.

Stevenson will not be joining the NRL anytime soon as he has chosen to sign a two-year contract extension with Waikato, the Chiefs, and New Zealand Rugby that will last until the 2025 season.

In 2024, I can’t wait to put on the Gallagher Chiefs shirt once more. There are unresolved matters to take care of. “Leave!” he said.

There were rumors floating around late last year that he was asked by Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett to join the new team and to switch codes.

He would eventually decline the offer, though, and remain in the 15-man code.

He has played for the All Black Under-20s squad since making his Chiefs debut in 2016 and this year he made his debut for the national team. Stevenson could have played winger or fullback and dominated the NRL with his quickness, agility, and attacking spirit.

Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan stated, “Shaun had a fantastic season and was duly rewarded with the opportunity to wear the black jersey.”

His regular performances have given him a lot of confidence. He is an experienced professional with that “X-factor” characteristic. His foresight, quickness, and long-kicking ability shape defenses and open up offensive possibilities.

“We look forward to seeing him light it up again next season.”

Crusaders coach’s verdict on Leigh Halfpenny’s possible switch from fullback

The historic No. 10 jersey of the Crusaders won’t be seen on the back of great Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny in Super Rugby Pacific the following season.

The former British and Irish Lion has signed a one-year contract with the reigning Super Rugby winners, although Halfpenny’s position in the team is still up for debate.

Halfpenny has taken on a fresh task down south as an accomplished player with little left to prove, but it’s unlikely that the Welshman will start at fullback.

As the Crusaders begin a new era, All Black Will Jordan is anticipated to lead the way as the team’s first-choice fullback, although Halfpenny could still be able to make the starting lineup.

“I play fullback, and I really love playing there. However, I’m pleased to wear the shirt wherever I have the chance,” Halfpenny told media upon his signing with the team.

It would be thrilling to play 10 and push myself there, and if the chance to do so ever arose, I would be more than happy to take it.

Rugby fans all throughout the world would be intrigued by this strategic approach. It would be intriguing to see the Test centurion change things up in 2024 because Halfpenny has always been a fullback.

However, it doesn’t appear that will occur. As the primary playmaker for the Crusaders, Halfpenny is unlikely to emulate rugby greats Andrew Mehrtens, Dan Carter, and Richie Mo’unga.

It’s not why coach Rob Penney “picked him.”

Penney reportedly remarked, “I’ve never seen him do that, that’s not why we picked him,” according to Newshub. We have a really competent inner back cover.

“We don’t think he needs to play there. His goal in coming here is to help some of those younger players grow and develop while providing a little bit of extra maturity and cover in the backfield.

Although he is versatile, our primary focus is on him as a fifteen.

“I’m thrilled to see how Taha and Rivez are developing, and Ferg [Fergus Burke] will be joining the picture later on.”

Richie Mo’unga, a former All Blacks playmaker, may have played his final Crusaders game after agreeing to a big contract with Toshiba Brave Lupus in Japan.

Under previous coach Scott Robertson, Mo’unga, who began at flyhalf for New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final last month, was a key player in the Crusaders’ legendary run of success.

But a fresh day is coming. Without players like Mo’unga, the Crusaders hope to maintain their unmatched success under new manager Rob Penney.

“You can look at the last fifteen years or so; there was a ‘before Richie,’ and there will now be a ‘after Richie,'” Penney clarified. “We hope that the ‘during Richie’ and the ‘after Richie’ are consistent.”

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