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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Blues captain Tuipulotu the latest Kiwi to pen new deal until next World Cup

The 27-year-old lock helped his side to a win over the Hurricanes yesterday.

ALL BLACKS LOCK Patrick Tuipulotu has signed a new contract to keep him with the Blues and New Zealand through until the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

27-year-old Tuipulotu is the captain of the Blues, who enjoyed a 30-20 win over the Hurricanes yesterday on the opening weekend of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

dane-coles-and-patrick-tuipulotu Tuipulotu [right] led the Blues to victory over the Canes yesterday. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Second row Tuipulotu has won 30 caps for New Zealand so far and featured five times at last year’s World Cup in Japan.

His superb form over the past year has underlined that Tuipulotu is likely to remain a key figure for the All Blacks through to the next World Cup.

“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.”

patrick-tuipulotu Tuipulotu in action for the All Blacks. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Tuipulotu’s fellow All Blacks locks Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, and Scott Barrett are all also contracted to New Zealand Rugby through until the 2023 World Cup.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster welcomed confirmation of 6ft 6ins Tuipulotu’s new deal.

“This is fantastic news for New Zealand Rugby and the Blues,” said Foster.

“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.”

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Murray Kinsella

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