Pulu to lead Blues in 2018

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 06:07

NEWS: Scrumhalf Augustine Pulu will captain the Blues in the 2018 Super Rugby Championship.

Coach Tana Umaga said Pulu, along with previous captains Jerome Kaino and James Parsons, form part of the senior leadership group.

"Both James and Jerome are sidelined for some time from surgeries and I wanted our captain to take the reins on the paddock from day one of training.

"Of course both James and Jerome will continue to play invaluable leadership roles in this team and will be key contributors in all aspects.

"Augie [Pulu] has proven captaincy experience in the Mitre-10 Cup and will add a fresh spark to the team," said Umaga.

Pulu has played 64 games in Super Rugby as well as representing New Zealand in Sevens at the Rio Olympics and has two All Black caps.

"It's an honour to lead a team like the Blues. We have a good bunch of guys returning and some exciting new players coming in,' said Pulu. "With the help of the leadership group, I want to mould them into a strong team.

"I think we have made real progress in my time here and hope I can do my job as a player and as a captain for the Blues.

"We have to work so hard every day, on and off the field. I believe we can win the Super Rugby title – that’s my goal for the team."

The Blues also announced that Ben Afeaki, the New Zealand Maoris and All Black prop, has been appointed as scrum coach. He has enjoyed that role for North Harbour in the National Provincial Cup.

Blues squad:

Forwards: Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Ofa Tuungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jimmy Tupou, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Dalton Papalii, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai.

Backs: Sam Nock, Augustine Puli, Jonathan Ruru, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Bryn Gatland, Stephen Perofeta, Otere Black, Matt Johnson, George Moala, Rieko Ioane, Tamati Tua, TJ Faiane, Sonny Bill Williams, Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Melanie Nanai, Jordan Trainor.

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