Dagg, Guildford re-sign for Magpies

BY MARC HINTON
Last updated 14:52 15/07/2010

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Young All Black stars Zac Guildford and Israel Dagg have recommitted their immediate future to the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union through until 2012.

"We're delighted that Zac and Israel have re-signed for the Magpies," HBRU CEO Mike Bishop said after the pair committed to staying with the union through until the end of the 2012 season.

 "They are local lads who have made huge strides on the national rugby scene and the fact that they continue to see the Magpies environment as assisting them in achieving higher honours speaks volumes for them and the hard work that has been done to create a positive culture in our Union."

Magpies co-coach Peter Russell was rapt to have his two emering stars on board for the long term.

"Zac and Israel are vital components in our team, both on and off the field," he said. "Their enthusiasm and obvious talent add an X-factor to our attacking options and the fact that they are now All Blacks and experienced Super rugby players also adds a further dimension to what they bring to our squad."

Guildford, who was called back into the All Blacks squad this week after initially being left out for the Tri-Nations, said it was an easy decision to stick with his home union at provincial level.

"This is where I started my first-class rugby and Hawke's Bay is home for me" said Guildford.

Dagg, in the midst of his first campaign with the All Blacks, added similar sentiments.

"Re-signing with the Magpies was important to me because there is a really positive environment here and I wanted to do my part to continue that" he said.

Meanwhile, Magpies stalwart Jason Shoemark has confirmed the looming national provincial season will be his last before he departs to join the Exeter Chiefs in the English premiership.

"Jason's leadership qualities and consistently strong performances have been crucial elements in our becoming a consistent and competitive force at ITM Cup level," said Magpies co-coach Tom Coventry."

Shoemark thanked the union for "rekindling" a career that he felt was at the crossroads before he arrived in 2006.

"I'm very grateful for what Hawke's Bay Rugby has done for me and am looking forward to the opportunity that playing offshore will give me and my family over the next two seasons." he added.

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