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Patrick Tuipulotu to make shock return for Blues in Super Rugby Pacific final

By Ned Lester
Patrick Tuipulotu of the Blues. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Eden Park is ready for an almighty rumble in the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific final, and the home team have been boosted by the return of captain Partick Tuipulotu for the big dance.

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The return comes as a big surprise given it was initially expected to miss not just the remainder of the Super Rugby season but also the opening All Blacks fixtures of the year against England and Fiji.

The captain’s return will come as a huge relief to Blues and All Blacks fans alike, while pushing young second-row Josh Beehre to the bench after an impressive outing in the semi-final.

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“Patty’s a Blues man, through and through, and came to us this week pretty keen to play in a Grand Final. He tested the knee on Monday in the gym, then on the grass yesterday,” said Blues coach Vern Cotter.

“He’s pulled up well and has the all-clear from our medical team – he’s a welcome addition to our pack, our talisman lock and leader.

“Patty felt good on Monday and, with strapping found, he was able to do everything rugby-related with minimal symptoms,” said Blues doctor James McGarvey. “Given it’s a final, he decided to try to work through the week and play.”

The Blues centurion assumes captaincy and is joined by Bryce Heem in returning from injury, with the midfielder taking up the No. 22 jersey on the bench.

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Related

Blues team to face the Chiefs 

  1. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
  2. Ricky Riccitelli
  3. Marcel Renata
  4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c)
  5. Sam Darry
  6. Akira Ioane
  7. Dalton Papali’i
  8. Hoskins Sotutu
  9. Finlay Christie
  10. Harry Plummer
  11. Caleb Clarke
  12. AJ Lam
  13. Rieko Ioane
  14. 14-Mark Tele’a
  15. Stephen Perofeta

Reserves:

16. Kurt Eklund
17. Joshua Fusitu’a
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Josh Beehre
20. Adrian Choat
21. Taufa Funaki
22. Bryce Heem
23. Cole Forbes

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Comments

10 Comments
S
Scott 35 days ago

More sketchy is Dalton Papali’i failing his HIA and then not being stood down the following week.

T
Toaster 35 days ago

Well great for us Blues fans and ABs as well but calling all doctors on here…

How can a guy go from a torn MCL at 7 weeks to less than 2?!

Powerful looking team with Heem also returning on the bench

G
Greg 35 days ago

Jeez, PT’s return great for the Blues, but I wonder how the Razor Gang feel about it? If he’s borderline now, presumably he would have been 100% for the English in a couple of weeks… They’ll be watching anxiously!

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