The five young players who trained with the Blues under the ITC (Interim Training Contract) programme this season have been named in the New Zealand Under-20 team to contest the World Rugby Championship this month.
Harry Plummer, Robb Cobb, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa, Hoskins Sotutu and Tanielu Tele’a were named in the 28-strong New Zealand side to compete in France.
They are joined by current Blues winger Caleb Clarke, who returns from last year’s winning New Zealand team, Blues Under-20 lock John Akau’ola-Laula (Auckland) and Northland’s Scott Gregory in the team.
Blues General Manager High Performance, Tony Hanks said it was outstanding news for the Blues region and partnership with Provincial Unions of Auckland, North Harbour and Northland.
“These players were identified through our secondary school TID system and been a part of the Blues Under-17, Under-18 and Under-20 teams,” said Hanks. “It shows the system is working with seven players all rewarded for the hard work they put in over the pre-season and of course added to that is Caleb who is already a full member of the Blues.
“We will be working closely with this group to be part of the Blues going forward as we have done in the last few years with the likes of the Ioane brothers, Blake Gibson, Dalton Papalii and others.”