16th October 07:38 PM
Blues coach pleased with young players in the squad for 2018 Super Rugby
By Semi Turaga
Wednesday 10/01/2018
Blues coach Tana Umaga

Blues coach Tana Umaga says he is pleased with the exciting young players in their squad this season.

He says they have a settled core of All Blacks and experienced Super Rugby players.

The squad includes current All Blacks Ofa Tuagafasi, Jerome Kaino, Matt Duffie, Patrick Tuipulotu, Rieko Ioane and Sonny Bill Williams with Akira Ioane part of the wider squad this year.

They join with the experienced James Parsons, Pauliasi Manu, Augustine Pulu, George Moala and Jimmy Tupou who have 318 Super caps between them.

The 2017 Blues players with outstanding Mitre 10 Cup form include Alex Hodgman, Josh Goodhue, Matt Moulds, Sam Nock, Stephen Perofeta and Murphy Taramai.

Wellington first five Otere Black, who announced his move to the Blues recently, will be out for the season after suffering an ACL injury and will be replaced by experienced first five Daniel Kirkpatrick who has returned after several years playing in France.

The Super Rugby competition starts on the 17th of next month.

The Blues first game will be against the Highlanders on the 23rd of next month.


The 2018 Blues squad

Hookers: Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons.

Front row: Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Ofa Tuungafasi.

Locks: Gerard Cowley‑Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jimmy Tupou

Loose forwards: Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Dalton Papalii, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai.

Halfbacks: Sam Nock, Augustine Puli, Jonathan Ruru.

First Five: Otere Black/Daniel Kirkpatrick, Bryn Gatland, Stephen Perofeta.

Midfield: Matt Johnson, George Moala, Tamati Tua, TJ Faiane, Sonny Bill Williams.

Outside backs: Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melanie Nanai, Jordan Trainor.


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