Utility back David Havili re-signs with the Crusaders to end of 2019

Promising utility back David Havili has re-signed with the Crusaders through to 2019.

Promising utility back David Havili has re-signed with the Crusaders through to 2019.

Versatile backline option David Havili has re-signed with the Crusaders until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

The 21-year-old from Motueka has faced stiff competition to secure a starting role since he made his Crusaders debut in 2015, though the reliable bench cover is content to continue his development in his home franchise.

Havili's ability to handle midfield, the wing and fullback cast the former New Zealand under-20s international as the ideal impact player although he did start at second five-eighth and push Ryan Crotty to centre during this year's campaign.

Although Tasman teammate Keiron Fonotia is moving to Welsh club Ospreys at the end of the Mitre 10 Cup, Jack Goodhue's form for Canterbury and the acquisition of 2016 All Black Seta Tamanivalu from the Chiefs means Havili again finds himself in an ultra-competitive environment.

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That challenge was one new Crusaders coach Scott Robertson expected Havili, who figured in 14 of the Crusaders 16 games this year, to tackle with relish.

"David is a joy to watch play, with his combination of grit and grace.

"He's very quickly made his mark, but I believe that the best is yet to come," said Robertson, who picked Havili as an injury replacement when coach of the New zealand under-20s world championship squad in 2014.

Havili was named in the Crusaders wider training squad in 2015 and ultimately made 11 appearances in his debut season.

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He said re-committing to the Crusaders was a straightforward decision.

"As a Tasman boy, I am proud to be able to represent my province in both the provincial competition and in Super Rugby," he said, before refocusing on Tasman's Premiership semifinal in Taranaki in New Plymouth on Sunday.

 - Stuff

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