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Rugby | International Rugby

Mealamu postpones return to action



All Blacks and Blues hooker Keven Mealamu has postponed his return to action until March after extending his leave period by several weeks.

The 102-test veteran will miss the first three matches of the Blues' season before returning on March 18, the All Blacks said in a statement.

"It's a total break away from the routines of the game so that I can enjoy some downtime and chill out with my family before getting back into it in a few months' time," Mealamu was quoted as saying in a statement.

Mealamu has just returned from New Zealand's tour of the northern hemisphere at the end of a 2012 season disrupted by injury. He has the backing of his Auckland-based club while New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew called the extended leave period a sensible move by the 33-year-old.

"Keven has only just returned today from his off-shore rugby commitments, and it's entirely understandable that he will want to take a long break to spend more time with his family," Tew said.

"This is a sensible break for Keven, and one we hope will allow him to keep performing at that top level for a lot longer."

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