All Blacks No 8 Hoskins Sotutu re-commits to New Zealand Rugby
News of Sotutu’s two-year contract extension comes as the powerful 23-year-old prepares with the All Blacks ahead of their three-test series against Ireland, which kicks-off on Saturday.
Although he hasn’t been named to feature in the first test, the 10-test star is expected to take part in some capacity over the coming weeks on the back of a standout Super Rugby Pacific campaign.
Helping guide the Blues to a runner-up finish, Sotutu found back himself in top form for the first time since his breakout season two years ago, when he starred for the Auckland-based franchise and earned his first cap for the All Blacks.
What followed was a quiet 2021 campaign in which he played in only five of New Zealand’s 15 tests as he struggled to break into the national team’s match day side.
Sotutu’s fortunes turned this year, though, as he caught the eye throughout Super Rugby Pacific as his devastating form won him selection in the All Blacks squad for a third year running despite strong competition from elsewhere around the country.
With his previous contract set to expire this year, the Blues subsequently moved to lock Sotutu in for the next few years in a deal that the man in question said was easy to agree to.
“I just enjoy coming to work every day,” Sotutu, a former New Zealand Schools and New Zealand U20 representative who father Waisake played 12 tests for Fiji, said in a statement released on Friday.
“There’s a great feeling in the club. We are lucky to have such great coaches and it’s awesome to be part of the Blues family.”
Blues head coach Leon MacDonald, meanwhile, is optimistic about Sotutu’s future at the Blues after having overseen his development since his Super Rugby debut three years ago.
Now with 37 Blues caps to his name, MacDonald is hopeful that Sotutu can go on to realise his world-class potential.
“Hoskins has all the skills and attributes to become one of the game’s best No 8s. He has size, speed and supreme skills,” MacDonald said.
“Hoskins continues to amaze us with his skillset. He is a good young man and a dedicated athlete. The rugby world could be at his feet if he can realise all of his talents.”
The retention of Sotutu is the third major re-signing announced by the Blues this week, with fellow All Blacks stars Caleb Clarke and Stephen Perofeta both inking two-year contract extensions on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.
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