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New Zealand Rugby re-sign resurgent star Hoskins Sotutu

By Ned Lester
Hoskins Sotutu with the ball in hand for the Blues. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

All Blacks and Blues fans received some stellar news on Thursday, with New Zealand Rugby announcing a new contract with star No. 8 Hoskins Sotutu.

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The 14-time All Black has inked a new deal that will see him remain with the Blues until 2026, much to the delight of the Auckland coach Vern Cotter.

With Sotutu currently sitting atop the highest try-scorers list in Super Rugby Pacific during his resurgent 2024 campaign to date, the dynamic loose forward has proven to be one of the most valuable talents in the competition.

“Hoskins can do things no other player in his position can do with ball in hand,” Cotter said.” His five-point contributions have helped us build scoreboard pressure and he’s getting regular turnovers at lineout and tackle situations.

“He’s building his performance from game to game and his consistency each week is remarkable considering he’s playing big minutes.

“I have no doubt he will help his teammates seek a top performance this weekend.”

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Sotutu was famously dropped out of both the All Blacks and All Blacks XV selection in 2023 after an uncharacteristically quiet year from the 25-year-old.

Sotutu admitted to RugbyPass earlier in the year that those ommissions had “lit a fire” and he was out with a point to prove in 2024.

His dominant form in 2024 has made him a clearcut favourite for not just All Blacks reselection, but for a potential starting spot alongside World Player of the Year Ardie Savea.

Regardless of how All Blacks coach Scott Robertson sees him best utilised, Sotutu is set to continue his lethal combination with the powerful Blues loose forward unit for two more seasons.

“I’m incredibly proud and honoured to extend my time with the Blues,” Sotutu said. “This club means a lot to me, and I’m committed to contributing my best both on and off the field in the coming seasons.

“This club feels like home to me, I’ve got a lot of mates here who I’ve played many seasons of rugby alongside. We’re building nicely this season and know we have a massive match this weekend against the Hurricanes – it promises to be a great game in the afternoon sun.”

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Saturday’s contest against the Hurricanes is indeed a massive occasion, with the two form teams in Super Rugby Pacific clashing heads for the second time in 2024 – the first contest having gone the way of the Hurricanes.

Blues general manager of rugby Murray Williams was equally happy to have Sotutu recommit to the club.

“Hoskins is a rare talent and his form in the 2024 season to date has been without peer. We’re thrilled to have him continue with the club as a cornerstone of our squad.”

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Comments

1 Comment
J
Jasyn 62 days ago

NZR should play hard all a bit with some of these players and make them sign up to the next world cup. If they won’t, offer it to someone who will.

Because what happens is the NH (especially France) swoop on a bunch of nz players coming off contract, weakening their depth, and nz scrambles less than 2 years out trying to get replacements up to speed.

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