Blues 2021



  • Outstanding North Harbour loose forward Dillon Hunt will return home to Auckland to join the Blues in Super Rugby after four seasons with the Highlanders.

    The North Harbour captain has made two appearances for the All Blacks with his debut in Japan in 2018 and he was one of the standout performers in Super Rugby Aotearoa, topping the tackling count for the competition.

    Hunt, who will play for the South Island in next week’s inter-island fixture, is excited to re-join with his North Harbour team for the Mitre-10 Cup and to link with the Blues.

    “For me it is about coming home to play my rugby. My partner and family are both in Auckland which was a big motivator for me,” said Hunt. “I grew up watching the Blues and I have always been a big fan, so this is an exciting opportunity for me.”

    Blues coach Leon MacDonald said Hunt will be an asset to a talent-laden loose forward group.

    “Dillon is a quality performer with a high work-rate and it’s good to have him back home. Loose forwards operate in a high impact area of the game, so we need quality depth. As captain of North Harbour, he will also bring his leadership qualities to the group.”

    Blues CEO Andrew Hore said Hunt’s signing is another positive message for young players from the region looking to stake a career in the game.

    “Dillon has come through the North Harbour and Blues system and got his chance at the Highlanders. We can’t always find a place for all our talent, but we are delighted that this opportunity has arisen for us to sign an excellent Blues product and he gets the opportunity to make home where his heart is.”

    North Harbour CEO David Gibson said it is a great outcome for everyone.

    “It really ticks all the boxes – Dillon and his family, Harbour, the Blues, and our approach to support those from our community. He is a genuine good bloke who brings so much on and off the field. We are really happy for him.”

    Hunt, a product of Westlake Boys College, joined the Highlanders as a replacement in 2017, playing 41 times and was an injury replacement for the All Blacks in 2017 playing against a French XV, and made his official debut against Japan in 2018.



  • Is Gibson signed for next year? The other loosies who start regularly are signed (Ioane, Sotutu, Robinson, Papali'i)

    Maybe Hunt is coming in for Lamborn?



  • @Duluth Gibson is signed until end of 2021 season.



  • @Duluth Lamborn will play for Southland. Hunt has gone and Lentjes is injured.



  • gutted, was an important part of the team this year....dont break or ignore him!



  • Has anyone read anywhere for how many seasons Hunt has signed with the Blues?



  • @Stargazer said in Blues 2021:

    Has anyone read anywhere for how many seasons Hunt has signed with the Blues?

    Herald is reporting 2 years.

    One test All Blacks loose forward Dillon Hunt is returning home after switching from the Highlanders to the Blues for the next two years.
    


  • @Duluth My guess would be either Lamborn is returning to his U.S. club or they dropped Riedlinger-Kapa. With Papalii wanting to specialize at 7 Lamborn can cover 6 where he plays for the U.S. Would be a bit tough on Riedlinger-Kapa who hasn't had a chance to prove himself as 6, 8, lock cover and at 22 y/o might be a better investment than Lamborn at 29.



  • Our backrow depth is ridiculous at the moment.



  • @Daffy-Jaffy Wasn't Riedlinger-Kapa on a WTG contract? If no one else is willing to sign him to a full contract, we might be able to keep again with another WTG contract. I hope we prioritize him over Aaron Carroll.



  • @Dice said in Blues 2021:

    Our backrow depth is ridiculous at the moment.

    you're right...probably wasted money...call it off?



  • @Dice He was on a full contract this season after being first on apprentiship then wtg in previous 2 seasons , so has been a project. Was injured pre covid then did not get a chance to play after. They seemed to prefer Carroll on the bench after his good contributions in South Africa. I also wonder who Darry is replacing? Tucker or Carroll?



  • @Dice said in Blues 2021:

    Our backrow depth is ridiculous at the moment.

    Who do you think you are ... Tasman?



  • @Nepia We still want Havili back. 🙂



  • Well fuck. Blues loosies are officially fucken scary.



  • @Bones Best ever depth of any club in professional rugby history.



  • @Tim said in Blues 2021:

    @Bones Best ever depth of any club in professional rugby history.

    Gibson is the bestest everer openside in the history of rugby and he won't even get a look in!



  • Will certainly be interesting to watch Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa in the NPC. The heat is on. I wonder if Choat or Niko Jones will take a contract elsewhere to get game time? I'm surprised that Tasman hasn't poached them yet. 😉



  • @Tim With Papalii at Counties-Manukau and Gibson made of glass there should be plenty of game time going around for 7s....



  • @KiwiMurph Meant at Super Rugby level.



  • @Tim said in Blues 2021:

    @KiwiMurph Meant at Super Rugby level.

    Choat I could understand. Niko needs to establish himself at Mitre 10 Cup level first.



  • Umaga extends his coaching stay with Blues coaching team

    Blues defence coach Tana Umaga has extended his stay at the franchise until the end of the 2021 Super Rugby season.
    
    This brings Umaga into line with the rest of the Blues coaching group of head coach Leon MacDonald, forwards coach Tom Coventry and backs/skills coach Daniel Halangahu.
    


  • @Stargazer that wouldn't have got multiple 'likes' a few years ago. He's gone really well in his current role I think.



  • Well, good reward for a really solid season. With the AB naming, we've got TEN Blues in the squad. Remarkable effort considering where we were a year ago, when we had 4 in Black. This is so critical to the long term success -seeing a functional organisation that provides a fun and successful playing environment, and a pathway to higher honours. Been a long long time people, so stoked right now.

    the list:
    Alex Hodgman (27, Blues / Auckland, new cap)
    Karl Tu’inukuafe (27, Blues / North Harbour, 13)
    Ofa Tuungafasi (28, Blues / Auckland, 35)
    Patrick Tuipulotu (27, Blues / Auckland, 30)
    Akira Ioane (25, Blues / Auckland, uncapped, one match)
    Dalton Papalii (22, Blues / Auckland, 3)
    Hoskins Sotutu (22, Blues / Auckland, new cap)
    Beauden Barrett (29, Blues / Taranaki, 84)
    Rieko Ioane (23, Blues / Auckland, 29)
    Caleb Clarke (21, Blues / Auckland, new cap)



  • @nzzp said in Blues 2020:

    Well, good reward for a really solid season. With the AB naming, we've got TEN Blues in the squad. Remarkable effort considering where we were a year ago, when we had 4 in Black. This is so critical to the long term success -seeing a functional organisation that provides a fun and successful playing environment, and a pathway to higher honours. Been a long long time people, so stoked right now.

    the list:
    Alex Hodgman (27, Blues / Auckland, new cap)
    Karl Tu’inukuafe (27, Blues / North Harbour, 13)
    Ofa Tuungafasi (28, Blues / Auckland, 35)
    Patrick Tuipulotu (27, Blues / Auckland, 30)
    Akira Ioane (25, Blues / Auckland, uncapped, one match)
    Dalton Papalii (22, Blues / Auckland, 3)
    Hoskins Sotutu (22, Blues / Auckland, new cap)
    Beauden Barrett (29, Blues / Taranaki, 84)
    Rieko Ioane (23, Blues / Auckland, 29)
    Caleb Clarke (21, Blues / Auckland, new cap)

    You would think Red Robinson would have gone pretty close if he wasn’t injured too.
    Any word on him? Is he out of itm cup this season?



  • @nzzp said in Blues 2020:

    Well, good reward for a really solid season. With the AB naming, we've got TEN Blues in the squad. Remarkable effort considering where we were a year ago, when we had 4 in Black. This is so critical to the long term success -seeing a functional organisation that provides a fun and successful playing environment, and a pathway to higher honours. Been a long long time people, so stoked right now.

    the list:
    Alex Hodgman (27, Blues / Auckland, new cap)
    Karl Tu’inukuafe (27, Blues / North Harbour, 13)
    Ofa Tuungafasi (28, Blues / Auckland, 35)
    Patrick Tuipulotu (27, Blues / Auckland, 30)
    Akira Ioane (25, Blues / Auckland, uncapped, one match)
    Dalton Papalii (22, Blues / Auckland, 3)
    Hoskins Sotutu (22, Blues / Auckland, new cap)
    Beauden Barrett (29, Blues / Taranaki, 84)
    Rieko Ioane (23, Blues / Auckland, 29)
    Caleb Clarke (21, Blues / Auckland, new cap)

    Papalii is now Counties not Auckland. Idiots announced it wrong



  • @Crucial said in Blues 2020:

    Papalii is now Counties not Auckland. Idiots announced it wrong

    Hasn't even played a game for Counties yet has he? Just signed for them.

    Went to St Kents too? Not really that idiotic, he's an AKL boy that has sold out. Might as well have gone to Tasman.



  • @Snowy am sure they tried!



  • @Snowy said in Blues 2020:

    @Crucial said in Blues 2020:

    Papalii is now Counties not Auckland. Idiots announced it wrong

    Hasn't even played a game for Counties yet has he? Just signed for them.

    Went to St Kents too? Not really that idiotic, he's an AKL boy that has sold out. Might as well have gone to Tasman.

    Yeah I’m not claiming him as home grown or anything just that he is a contracted CM player and NZR got it wrong in their announcement and press.
    Laulala was announced as simply ‘Manukau’ as well



  • @Crucial When he has played a game for you, he can be be Counties (and a turncoat who is dead to me).

    I wouldn't mind so much if he wasn't actually good.



  • @Snowy said in Blues 2020:

    @Crucial said in Blues 2020:

    Papalii is now Counties not Auckland. Idiots announced it wrong

    Hasn't even played a game for Counties yet has he? Just signed for them.

    Went to St Kents too? Not really that idiotic, he's an AKL boy that has sold out. Might as well have gone to Tasman.

    alt text



  • @Snowy said in Blues 2020:

    @Crucial When he has played a game for you, he can be be Counties (and a turncoat who is dead to me).

    I wouldn't mind so much if he wasn't actually good.

    Arthur Stone
    Arthur Stone
    Arthur Stone



  • @Crucial said in Blues 2020:

    @Snowy said in Blues 2020:

    @Crucial When he has played a game for you, he can be be Counties (and a turncoat who is dead to me).

    I wouldn't mind so much if he wasn't actually good.

    Arthur Stone
    Arthur Stone
    Arthur Stone

    GFY.

    (and yes I laughed).



  • @nzzp said in Blues 2021:

    Alex Hodgman (27, Blues / Auckland, new cap)

    Hodgman is a really good sign. First he was a player returning home. Second plenty of Canterbury fans on the TSF claimed he was no loss.. but he continued to develop at Auckland/Blues and has earned the call up

    I see most rugby fans knew he was an AB before he did:


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