The Manawatu Turbos' stocks have taken another boost for next year with loose forward James Oliver and halfback Papa Wharewera signing on for two more seasons.
The 28-year-old Oliver has played for the Turbos for three years and was keen to stay on for another two seasons.
"For sure," the No 8 said. "This is my home town especially, and I couldn't imagine playing for anyone else."
He got back last week from a holiday in Mexico and was now enjoying the Christmas break before getting back into training.
"After that break from it, I'm pretty keen to get back into it mentally."
Oliver played eight games for the Turbos this year, missing four matches because of groin injury, but he is now fully fit after a decent spell away from the game.
Oliver's addition keeps Manawatu well-stocked in the loose forwards department along with Callum Gibbins, Nick Crosswell, Doug Tietjens, Hamish Gosling as well as Antonio Kiri Kiri.
It sees the core of this year's side already confirmed for next season, with Nathan George, Ma'afu Fia, Michael FitzGerald, Lewis Marshall and Gosling all putting pen to paper recently.
Wharewera's re-signing is another positive as he proved himself to be the union's No 1 halfback in the absence of All Black Aaron Smith. Wharewera, who played nine matches for Manawatu in his debut season, is training with the Hurricanes until their first Super Rugby match in February but is not on their official roster.
Of Manawatu's two All Blacks, Smith is signed on until the end of 2014 and Aaron Cruden is signed on until the end of next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News