The Blues will boast four All Black front rowers next year with prop Nepo Laulala joining the Auckland based super rugby franchise on a two year deal.
Laulala, who turns 29 next month, has been with the Chiefs for the past five years and with the Crusaders prior to that.
He joins fellow All Black props Ofa Tuungafasi, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Alex Hodgman at the Blues.
“My wife and I felt the time was right for us to move closer to our families in Auckland. I went to school in Auckland and our extended families are all there,” said Laulala.
All four are to play in the Rugby Championship in Australia, with Laulala granted paternity leave to delay his departure across the Tasman.
Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said Laulala’s move is a further boost for the team.
“Nepo is a powerful scrummager and has worked hard on improving his mobility and handling around the field,” said MacDonald.
“It will be great for the four All Blacks to feed off each other, share information and collectively push themselves to continue to improve.
“It will also give us the opportunity to keep the group fresh and excited each week.”
Laulala will continue to play for Counties-Manukau where his brothers Ray and Casey have played while Luteru is in the current Steelers squad for the Mitre-10 Cup.
SOURCE – RADIO NZ