Players go international

Players go international

The June international window is giving Blues players a chance to represent New Zealand and other nations in tournaments all around the world.

The outstanding Ioane brothers left the Blues squad at the end of April to join the Sevens world and to compete in the Paris and London legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Following a month of competition, Rieko and Akira are now in the building phase for the upcoming Rio Olympics, which will begin August 6.

Sam Nock and Jordan Trainor have flown north to Manchester, England with the NZ Under 20 team this month. Trainor (20) and Nock (19) were both selected in early May to help NZ defend their World Rugby Under 20 Championship title.

The NZ team enjoyed a 55-0 win over Georgia early Wednesday morning, with Sam Nock leading the team’s haka in the first round of pool play. The team will be taking the field again this weekend against Ireland, kick-off Sunday, 12.30am (NZT). The competition runs from June 7-25.

This Saturday, June 11, in particular will be a big day of international competition for our players.

Loose forward Jack Ram has been named in his national side Tonga to compete in the Pacific Nations Cup, kicking off Saturday, and Male Sa’u will join Japan’s Brave Blossoms to face Canada in Vancouver also on Saturday. 

The All Blacks are set to launch in to international competition, kicking off with the Steinlager Series v Wales at Eden Park, 7.35pm Saturday.

Blues players Jerome Kaino, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charlie Famuina, Ofa Tu’ungafasi and George Moala have been in training with the All Blacks since the end of May.

It’s the first time 40-cap Blues prop Tu’ungafasi has made the All Blacks squad, and an exciting development for Moala who earned his first All Blacks cap in 2015 against Samoa. Tuipulotu is enjoying a return to the national side following groin surgery in 2015. 

Kaino and Faumuina are back in the national side after the successful 2015 Rugby World Cup and have 100 international caps between them. 

The playing side to face Wales this weekend will be announced early Thursday morning.