Six further Blues re-sign

Six further Blues re-sign

Six further players from this year’s Blues squad have been rewarded with extended contracts for next season’s Investec Super Rugby Championship.

The club’s rookie of the year, Piers Francis has been re-signed for the 2017 season among the six players announced today.

The others are props Sione Mafileo (North Harbour) and Sam Prattley (Auckland), locks Gerard Cowley-Tuioti (North Harbour) and Scott Scrafton (Auckland) and Northland loose forward Kara Pryor.

“These players impressed the coaching staff both on the field and with their attitudes off it,” coach Tana Umaga said.

Francis was selected last year after a season for Counties-Manukau and proved one of the finds of the Investec Super Rugby Championship as a key component in the much improved Blues defensive efforts.

“I was aware of Piers’ skill-set and pleased with the role he played in our team last season. We believe he has the ability to lift that to new levels in 2017.”

Umaga said the other players re-signed all showed considerable promise last season.

“Sam and Kara fought their way into the starting line-up while Sione took his chances and performed well. Both Gerard and Scott are young players who spent much of the season learning and we will be looking for them to step-up in 2017.”

Umaga said the Blues have secured most of their squad for 2017 with some places available for players to make the most of their opportunities in the Mitre 10 Cup.