14 Sep 2016

Tana to assist coach Maori ABs

Maori All Blacks Head Coach Colin Cooper has announced the coaching and management team for the Maori All Blacks’ 2016 northern tour at the end of this year. Tana Umaga has been appointed Assistant Coach and former All Blacks prop and Waikato Forwards Coach Carl Hoeft has been appointed Assistant Forwards Coach.  “I’m delighted to […]

13 Sep 2016

U18 Players earn national honours

It’s no secret that the Blues region produces some of the most sought-after rugby talent. Take the success of Mount Albert Grammar Schools First XV for example. The team, coached by Geoff Moon and featuring a number of Blues Under 18 Development players, took out this year’s 1A First XV final when they defeated Sacred […]

13 Sep 2016

Spotlight: Sam Prattley

A version of this profile was first published in the Blues v Brumbies match programme. Rai Valley, population 100, is a small locality, halfway between Nelson and Blenheim at the top end of the South Island. The township boasts a café, pub, rural shop and a trucking company. There once was a cheese factory, but that […]

09 Sep 2016

The Brave Blossoms star

A version of this profile was first published in the Blues v Hurricanes match programme. Male Sa’u has played out the typical professional rugby narrative in reverse. He left New Zealand early to pursue rugby in Japan, before returning to his roots with Super Rugby. The Otara-boy developed his craft at Tangaroa College, a school […]

31 Aug 2016

It’s a mental game

There’s an old saying that sport is 10% physical and 90% mental.  You’ll be forgiven for doubting the accuracy of this quote, especially considering the physical demands on elite level rugby players. The Blues take the saying seriously and in 2015 introduced a new coach to the squad. Her name is Kylie Wilson and she’s […]

30 Aug 2016

Women in Rugby

A version of this story was first published in the Blues v Waratahs match programme. Pictured is a girls’ team from Southern Cross Campus, supplied by Southern Cross. As women’s rugby gains international prominence with the inclusion of Sevens at the Olympic Games, and our New Zealand womens’ silver medal in Rio, the profile of the […]

31 Aug 2016

Tongan kid to All Black

A version of this story was first published in the Blues v Waratahs match programme. It was 14 years before Ofa Tu’ungafasi knew who the All Blacks were. 10 years on, he became All Black #1150. Ofa was born in the village of Kanolupolu on the main island of Tonga, where most rugby boys dreamt […]