Hickey joins Blues tour to SA
Simon Hickey is the latest star to emerge from New Zealand's flyhalf factory and he will be unleashed on the Bulls and Lions in the next fortnight.
Hickey, who made his Super Rugby debut in the Blues' 35-24 win over the Crusaders at the weekend, has been added to their 27-man squad for the two-match tour of South Africa.
John Kirwan's men play the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld this Saturday, before taking on the Lions at Ellis Park a week later.
Having recently arrived from Japan, both Hayden Triggs and Jerome Kaino remained in New Zealand, alongside a number of injured players – including Ma'a Nonu, Francis Saili, Jamison Gibson-Park and Baden Kerr.
The squad, which arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday, features a number of players who have not travelled to the Republic before – including Benji Marshall, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jordan Manihera, Tevita Li, Liaki Moli and Hickey.
Hickey, who posted 15 points in his first Super Rugby appearance, cemented his spot in the tour squad with his all-round contribution to the win.
"It was awesome fun," he said.
"I was just stoked to get out there. It had been quite a long week waiting for the game but I was glad to finally get out there and enjoy it like any other game.
"We like to think we have got a triple threat game so we can run, catch-pass or kick so the boys had some good communication coming in saying that it was on and it seemed to work out so it was good."
Forwards: Luke Braid, Tom Donnelly, Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua, Jordan Manihera, Tom McCartney, Keven Mealamu, Liaki Moli, Brendon O'Connor, James Parsons, Sam Prattley, Peter Saili, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Tony Woodcock.
Backs: Pita Ahki, Frank Halai, Bryn Hall, Simon Hickey, Tevita Li, Benji Marshall, George Moala, Chris Noakes, Charles Piutau, Piri Weepu, Jackson Willison.