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Mon 15 Jun 2020 | 09:24

Victorious Blues lock in key player

Victorious Blues lock in key player
Mon 15 Jun 2020 | 09:24
Victorious Blues lock in key player
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NEWS: The Blues sealed their win in the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa with the signing of a key player.

The Auckland-based franchise secured the key signature of All Black lock and Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu, who has re-signed through until the 2023 World Cup.

The news comes hot on the heels of the successful opening weekend, which saw Tuipulotu’s Blues beat the Hurricanes 30-20 at a sold-out Eden Park on Sunday and the Highlanders pip the Chiefs 28-27 in Dunedin.

Tuipulotu, 27, has played 30 Tests for the All Blacks and 74 matches for the Blues since making his Test and Super Rugby debuts in 2014 and has developed into a formidable, world-class player since then.

He made the All Black World Cup squad in 2019 playing five Tests at the tournament.

“I am pleased to continue to play for New Zealand Rugby and the Blues until 2023 and excited about the future,” said Tuipulotu.

“During the lockdown, I realised more than ever how much I love this game and love playing for the Blues. We are beginning to develop into a really good side and it is an honour to lead them.

“I am still young and learning all the time, and I want to establish myself as an international player.”

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All Blacks coach Ian Foster said: “This is fantastic news for New Zealand Rugby and the Blues.

“Patrick has grown considerably over the last few years, both on the field as a player and off-field with his captaincy and leadership.

“The fact that he has re-signed through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup is a sign of not only NZ Rugby’s commitment to him, but also Patty’s desire to achieve his own goals in New Zealand over the next few years.

“We congratulate him on making that commitment.”

Blues CEO Andrew Hore said: “The Blues are delighted we will have Patrick at the forefront of our team for the next three years.

“He is not just developing into an outstanding player but his leadership skills also continue to grow on and off the field. Paddy is a big man who has worked hard on getting his body in shape and he is developing into a superb athlete and is a fantastic human.”

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Victorious Blues lock in key player - new zealand | Rugby365