Blues sign up former Under 20s prop on three-year deal
Promising young prop Josh Fusitu’a has signed with the Blues on a three-year contract through to 2025.
Fusitu’a, a West Auckland product, came through Auckland Grammar into the Auckland Academy and Blues development programme. He also plays for the Grammar TEC club in Auckland.
The 1.83m, 118kg loosehead prop was selected for the New Zealand Under 20s in 2021 although the Covid-19 pandemic restricted the team to a domestic programme.
He came into the Blues as a replacement player in 2022, making his debut against Moana Pasifika.
Fusitu’a said he is still in shock after receiving his first Blues contract.
“I’m lost for words; I can’t believe it happened so fast. I’m very blessed to receive this contract and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in for the team, ” said Fusitu’a.
The Fusitu’a family are no strangers to the New Zealand sporting landscape, with older brother David representing New Zealand and Tonga in rugby league along with a lengthy career at the Warriors before moving to the Leeds Rhinos in England.
“My brother has always been a big role model in my life, especially around professional footy,” said Fusitu’a.
“David paved the way for our family and for a lot of young aspiring Tongan athletes. He’s helped me heaps and set the benchmark for me to reach – I’m still on that journey,” he said.
Blues head coach, Leon MacDonald, said Fusitu’a will complement the experienced group of front rowers already at the club.
“Josh is a very promising prop who’s come through our development programme and now gets his chance,” said MacDonald.
“He’s really physical, we noticed he didn’t take a backward step, even to some of the international level props we’ve got. You can tell he has a real inner drive to succeed.”
Meanwhile, Fusitu’a was quick to quip that his skills firmly lie with the front-row fraternity.
“I don’t have much ‘razzle,’ but I know how to work hard – I’m excited to see how I can bring that quality to this team.”
MacDonald said while Fusitu’a was a big, mobile unit on the field, his off-field qualities were equally impressive.
“Character is really important to us. The times we’ve seen Josh in the Blues environment have given us a good look at his attitude, his coachability and his determination.
“He’s a fantastic learner and hard worker – you can see him processing information from coaching staff and his peers then going out and implementing that on the grass.”
– Blues Rugby
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