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Fiji boss' latest comments suggest Hoskins Sotutu has decision to make

By Chris Jones
Hoskins Sotutu. (Photo by Steve McArthur/Photosport)

England will face stiff opposition from Flying Fijians head coach Mick Byrne if in-form Blues No8 Hoskins Sotutu decides to give up hopes of breaking back into the All Blacks squad.

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The 25-year-old played a huge role in helping the Blues win the Super Rugby Pacific title against the Chiefs last weekend but then found himself surplus to requirements as Scott Robertson, the new All Blacks head coach, left him out of his first squad for the upcoming tests with England.

Sotutu has played 14 Tests for the All Blacks, since making his debut against Australia in 2020 with the player qualifying for England through his mother. Fiji are also on alert with Byrne fully aware that the strong running No8 qualifies through his father for the Pacific Islands nation.

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Sotutu will qualify to switch allegiance to another nation next year with his last cap coming in the 25-25 draw against England at Twickenham in November 2022, before being dropped for the whole of 2023 and missing out on selection for the Rugby World Cup.

“He’s definitely a player of interest to us,” Byrne told the The Fiji Times.

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“It’s something we’re looking at just to confirm and keep an eye on. I’m just looking through that process now to find out exactly when his last game was, but I believe he played for the All Blacks 15 last year. We’re just trying to find out the exact date that it does become available.”

Adding Sotutu to his squad would be a significant success for Byrne, who has taken up the national role after completing his stint as the Fijian Drua head coach. The creation of the Drua has given Fiji a far greater number of professional players to choose from as they aim to build on their Rugby World Cup campaign in France last year.

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Byrne, who could not select a number of his northern hemisphere players for last weekend’s loss to the Barbarians at Twickenham, is hoping to build stronger links with the European leagues in a bid to gain better release agreements moving forward.

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Comments

6 Comments
D
David 24 days ago

Razor’s second mistake. Makes for debate anyway.

N
Neil 24 days ago

No way this guy doesn’t get another AB cap. Be crazy to let him slip through the cracks. I’m English and having just watched some of his highlight reels, England would snap him up in a heartbeat.

T
Tim 24 days ago

Be kinda weird to see him belting out God Save the King at the Cabbage patch. Dems da rulz tho. Far better it for me to question World Rugby’s logic.

F
Forward pass 24 days ago

What a sook. Perhaps Razor should put him in for 2 mins at the end of the Fiji test just to lock him back in to NZ for 3 years. This sort of carry-on deserves a response like that. Sotutu sounds “entitled” and thats not a quality I want to see in an AB.

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