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All Black and Blues prop re-signs for another two years

By Ben Smith
Ofa Tu’ungafasi of the Blues thanks the crowd after winning the round nine Super Rugby Pacific match between Blues and ACT Brumbies at Eden Park, on April 20, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

All Black and Blues prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi has re-signed on a new two-year deal that will see him remain in New Zealand until the end of 2026.


Since making his debut in 2013 for the Blues he has made 144 appearances, becoming a club legend in the process and winning the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman title in 2021.

Tu’ungafasi could end up as the most capped Blues player of all-time, with legendary All Black hooker Keven Mealamu holding the record with 164 caps.

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He made his All Black debut in 2016 and has been capped 59 times, featuring in two Rugby World Cups in 2019 and 2023. His new deal will take him to the eve of the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

“The Blues holds a special place in my heart, and I’m honoured to extend my journey here,” Tu’ungafasi said in a statement.

“I’m proud to have played so much rugby for one club and it’s been cool to grow as a person and a player with the Blues.

“I take a lot of pride in contributing not only to our Blues community but also to the development of our younger players. It’s great to work with the new front-rowers and I’m committed to ensuring we build strength in that area.”

The Blues are chasing their first Super Rugby Pacific title and are currently top of the ladder ahead of a rivalry clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch this weekend.

They are looking to secure the number one seed over the final two weeks of regular season action which would see them potentially host a final at Eden Park.

The club is looking into the legality of bringing in Beauden Barrett for the rest of the season after the returning All Black finished his season in Japan.


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Mzilikazi 2 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Very good article, Nic, and I find agreement with what you write virtually 100%. I think this two mach series has increasingly become one which will be very difficult for Ireland to win. After the first game of the last 6N, I would have been very full of confidence taking on the Boks in SA. France beaten by a big margin in France, it looked as if Ireland had emerged in fine form from the World Cup, despite the very narrow loss to the AB’s. But after that game, a slide began, ending with the defeat to England. Ireland were very fortunate to win this years 6N ! And as you so fully expose, this has not been a good season for Leinster, or indeed, in my view, for any Irish province. The Leinster loos to the Bulls, and then Munster letting a glorious chance slip to the Glasgow Warriors down at Thomond. Man, that one will really hurt. And both Connacht and Ulster have at times looked very poor this seaso, bith heavily beaten on occassion. The loss of both Gibson Park and Keenan are huge blows, especially Gibson Park. And there is really only one clear class 10 in the touring party, Jack Crowley, and he is still a very young player learning his trade. If he goes down, heaven help Ireland. And in my view, Ireland do not have a good scrummaging front row, SA do, and in great depth too. But despite all this doom and gloom, I always believe my team can win. Not that they will win, just can ! Ireland will still field what is the best and most talented team overall that I have seen in my lifetime. But the coaching group will really have to step up, no awful decisions like the one made against the AB’s in the QF….keeping the totally spent and poorly performing(on the day) Sexton on for the full 80mins, leaving Crowley on the sidelines. Ireland should never have lost that game !

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Ireland have all the tools required to hurt SA. They develop quick ball, hold onto the ball for long periods, stretch the game when its on, have powerful mobile forwards, a good kicking game and they can hold their own in the scrum. They also can force turnovers regularly and in general do well at the breakdown. When Munster, the Ospreys and Glasgow all won games in SA this year against the Bulls and Stormers they did just that and won. It is also the reason why Ireland won the game at the world cup last year. The problem for Ireland is that SA have all the tools required to hurt them as well and hurt them a great deal more than England did in the Six Nations. They are physical and powerful at the set piece, they rush up and counter the Irish attacking system and they can really attack the breakdown and slow your ball down. Their counterattacking threat is also a big weapon and they score many tries from turnover turning defence into offence in a second. Toulouse and the Bulls nailed Leinster in this way and Glasgow did the same thing to Munster. So the series will be really interesting because both sides are so good at countering each other. Interested to see what kind of surprises Tony Brown springs and how the SA game develops. Feel like SA have more potential to surprise Ireland but then a new coaching set up as well as the fact that Japanese and foreign based players tend to take about 5 to 6 weeks to get up to speed might work in Irelands favour. SA have shipped at least one game in 4 of the last 5 June/July test windows going back to 2018 for this exact reason.

63 Go to comments
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