Anton Lienert-Brown Turned Down Crusaders To Stay With Chiefs

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Anton Lienert-Brown of the Chiefs makes a break during the Super Rugby semi-finals match between the Wellington Hurricanes and Waikato Chiefs at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on July 30, 2016. / AFP / MARTIN HUNTER (Photo credit should read MARTIN HUNTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Anton Lienert-Brown left an offer with the Crusaders on the table to stay with the Chiefs through until 2020 – signalling thanks to the club who first gave him his first big break in Super Rugby.

While his current form in Super Rugby doesn’t make for flash reading – Lienert-Brown remains one of the likely bets for a place in the All Blacks midfield this year. Hard work and faith is a key motivator for All Black midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown who says he is confident that a difficult start to 2017 will soon turn around.

With the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour shortly to begin, Chiefs coach Dave Rennie also has no doubt that the youngster is nearing a big performance.

“Anton has a phenomenal work rate and he has been pretty solid on defense.”

There was some nervousness with other departures in the Chiefs back line – Aaron Cruden (Montpellier), James Lowe (Leinster), and Tawera Kerr Barlow (La Rochelle). Rennie said he was glad to see Lienert-Brown stay with the Chiefs, and pointed to the bigger picture of the current attacking prowess of the side working around his midfield.

“As a group we haven’t been as good at attack when you compare it to this time last year – but we are reasonably happy with how he’s going.”

Anton Lienert-Brown Turns Down Crusaders Offer To Stay With Chiefs

The 22-year old took everyone by surprise last season when he emerged to become one of the premier midfielders in the country. Handed a debut for the All Blacks against the Wallabies; Lienert-Brown quickly became a regular selection after proving his worth to selectors and public alike.

On Monday morning, it was announced that Lienert-Brown will stay with the Chiefs through until 2020. But that doesn’t mean that some big clubs, both in New Zealand and abroad, weren’t keen to get the 22-year old and his agent to consider some big money offers.

Lienert-Brown, originally from Christchurch, confirmed that the Crusaders were one of the sides eager to sign him to a long-term deal. It would’ve seen Lienert-Brown join good mates Jack Goodhue and Ryan Crotty, and a conversation with Crusaders coach Scott Robertson also took place.

“I know Razor well, and he did ask the question for me to sign with the Crusaders but they’ve already got some great midfielders down there.”

Lienert-Brown will go up against his mates, and Razor, this Friday night when the Chiefs play the Crusaders in Suva.

“Main photo credit”

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