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Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu weighs in on Sotutu's non-selection as No 8 shares "most hated" post

By Ben Smith
Akira Ioane of the Blues and Hoskins Sotutu of the Blues celebrate following the Super Rugby Pacific Grand Final match between Blues and Chiefs at Eden Park, on June 22, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu has shared his thoughts on the “surprise” omission of teammate and No 8 Hoskins Sotutu from the first All Blacks squad of 2024.


The try-scoring back rower topped the charts with 12 during the Blues title-winning Super Rugby Pacific campaign, proving to be one of the most valuable players in the competition.

But after capturing their first Super Rugby title since 2003, the champion Blues registered just three forwards in Scott Robertson’s All Black squad.

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Tuipulotu revealed the passing of a close relative has also weighed on Sotutu in the wake of the Super Rugby Pacific title win.

“He’s had a pretty tough couple of days and I want to send my condolences out to him and his family. There’s been a death in his family and that’s something pretty harsh to add to what he’s going through at the moment,” Tuipulotu told

“I was surprised [he’s not here]. He’s been a pretty consistent performer for us all throughout the season. I was pretty disappointed not to see his name there.”

The All Black loose forwards featured Ardie Savea, Luke Jacobson and Wallace Sititi, three candidates who play No 8 regularly, as well as Crusader Ethan Blackadder who can play across all three positions.


Sotutu shared a photo of the Blues’ championship win on Instagram with the caption “MostHated” after the announcement of the All Blacks squad.

The cryptic post receieved support from other Blues teammates, Akira Ioane who commented “don’t send boys” and Ofa Tuungafasi who sent support.


Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV


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Andrew 22 days ago

Poor unwise Instagram whine by Sotutu and subsequent coach undermining media response by Tuipolotu. The kind of character thing that the ABs as a team dont need. Should have zipped it. Such a contrast with the much younget Sititis mature humility in his interview. Shows the difference in class.

Ian 22 days ago

From what I’ve read in media, Razor told him to work on a few things, like on defence. Didn’t do so, paid the price. Want players who work on both side of the ball. If one team is on the front foot, makes it hard on opposition to play well

Neale 22 days ago

Razor’s bodged up his first selection. How he can ignore Sotutu and other Blues players, particularly the forwards, smacks of insanity. And at half-back, McKenzie was totally nullified last Saturday and Barrett has no top level form to speak of. England must be licking their lips!

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finn 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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