Young Northland lock signs for ’17

Young Northland lock signs for ’17

Young Northland lock and former New Zealand Under-20 representative Josh Goodhue will join the Blues from next year.

The 21 year old middle rower, who stands 2m and 116kgs, played for the New Zealand Under-17 team in 2012 and was part of the successful New Zealand Under-20 side that won the World Cup last year.

Goodhue is from a well-known Northland family from Kawakawa in the far north, playing for the local United Kawakawa club before he and his twin brother Jack moved to Mount Albert Grammar in Auckland.

The twins were both selected for the New Zealand Under-20s, with Jack now playing for Canterbury and attending Lincoln University.

Blues coach Tana Umaga said the selection of Josh Goodhue is another signal that the organisation is clearly identifying its young prospects and working hard to retain them in the region.

“Josh has been on the radar of our High Performance Manager Tony Hanks for some time and I came across him with the New Zealand Under-20s last year,” Umaga said.

“He is big and athletic with a considerable future in the game. I’m sure he will develop well inside the Blues environment and able to soak up so much from the likes of Patty Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua and Jerome Kaino.”

Umaga said he was also pleased that it also signals that players from Northland do not need to leave the area to further their rugby.

“We have five players from Northland in the Blues this year and another 10 throughout our Development teams.”

The Goodhue family are well known in the far north with Josh one of four brothers who are prominent in the game. Aside from his twin Josh, older brother Cam Goodhue played for Northland, the Blues and also in UK before his career was curtailed with injury. He is now the Rugby Development Officer for Northland in the far north, while another brother Axle plays for the Northern Development team.

Goodhue joins recent new signings for 2017 that include Jimmy Tupou, Alex Hogman and Sonny-Bill Williams.