While the Blues have been outstanding across the park this year, their outside backs have been arguably their best performers week-in and week-out. Since the Coronavirus-enforced suspension of Super Rugby, it looks like the Auckland-based side have discovered another incredible threat.

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Fans and pundits alike lavished praise on new Harbour man Mark Telea earlier in the season as the dynamic wing notched up five tries in the initial Super Rugby season but the returning Caleb Clarke is suddenly attracting all the attention.

Clarke played 13 matches for the Blues between 2018 and 2019 and while the now-21-year-old showed plenty of promise in those appearances, he appears to have come on in leaps and bounds since spending the early part of 2020 with the New Zealand sevens team.

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Auckland Blues winger Caleb Clarke talks about being a part of the back to back wins his team have enjoyed to begin Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The son of former All Black Eroni Clarke wasn’t confident he’d even get the opportunity for game-time in Super Rugby Aotearoa given Telea’s sublime form on the left wing but the decision to move Telea to the right wing and instil Clarke on the left has immediately paid dividends for Blues coach Leon MacDonald.

Clarke was one of the most dangerous players on the park in the Blues’ wins over the Hurricanes and Chiefs but he took his game up another level against the Highlanders on Saturday evening.

The dynamic outside back burst over the try-line from short-range to open up the scoring for the Blues in the 6th minute.

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While that impressive effort showed off Clarke’s power and strength, it was how he set up Rieko Ioane for the Blues’ final try of the first half that would have really impressed his coaches.

Clarke received the ball just outside the Blues’ 22 then threw a dummy and scooted around some lax tackling and burst down the field. Seconds later, Ioane was diving over the line to take the home side out to a 22-10 lead.

Fans quickly took to social media to lavish praise on Clarke.

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