[Source: Blues Rugby]
Lock Patrick Tuipulotu will take the reins in 2024, named as Blues Captain for the upcoming DHL Super Rugby Pacific season.
Tuipulotu previously captained the side from 2019-2021 and is on the cusp of becoming a Blues centurion, finishing the 2023 season on 99 caps.
He said being named as Blues Captain is an honour he doesn’t take lightly.
“The feeling you get leading this side into battle each week is something special,” said Tuipulotu.
“We’ve got a core of experienced Blues men who lead in their own way and it’s my job to empower that group of leaders to help propel the team forward.”
“Captaincy comes with a weight of expectation – we represent the people of our region and as a team we strive to do our fans proud whenever we pull on the Blues jersey.”
“We’ve set ourselves high standards for the 2024 campaign, we believe we have the squad to do something special and we’re working hard in the pre-season to make that a reality,” he said.
Blues Head Coach Vern Cotter said Tuipulotu has a strong influence around the team.
“Patty is a natural leader in this group, he’s an experienced head with nearly 100 caps for the team and has the respect of the players around him. I’m confident he’ll do an excellent job leading the Blues in 2024,” said Cotter.
“We’ve got a group of guys in our squad with a range of leadership experience, so they’ll provide a sounding board and help lighten the load for Patty throughout our campaign,” he said.
Tuipulotu was also keen to point out the impact his players can have on the community and region through their actions off the field.
“As part of our pre-season we had our Fill the Blues Bus campaign where we collected gifts for the Salvation Army. Doing community projects like that help keep the boys grounded and give them an appreciation of the people and community they’re playing for.”