26 Feb 2009

All Blacks Leonard, Ellis re-sign with NZRU

6:51 pm on 26 February 2009

The All Black halfbacks Andy Ellis and Brendon Leonard and rising Canterbury and Crusaders first five eighth Stephen Brett have all re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union until after the 2011 World Cup.

That's good news for New Zealand coach Graham Henry, who's joined the call for a shortened rugby season.

Henry's confirmed the All Blacks won't play in this year's Air New Zealand Cup, saying they play for 10 months a year and the demand on them is unsustainable.

Henry says the rugby season is too long in its current format and if the issue isn't addressed the longevity of players careers could decrease drastically.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, Carter, hookers Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu, centres Ma'a Nonu and Richard Kahui and prop John Afoa have all also committed to the union until after the 2011 tournament.