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May 22, 2024, 9:09 am
Regional, Sports, World

All Blacks prop to stay with NZ Rugby and Blues

Fiji One News Team
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Ofa Tu’ungafasi of the Blues during the round 9 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Blues and ACT Brumbies at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Photo: David Rowland /

All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby and the Blues to the end of the 2026.

The 57 test front rower has been to two World Cups and is the second most capped Blues player (144 games) of all-time behind Keven Mealamu (164).

Since his debut in 2013 against the Hurricanes, Tu’ungafasi has been a stalwart figure at the Blues.

He was part of the Championship winning 2014 World Club Tens team and the 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman side.

Tu’ungafasi made his All Blacks debut in 2016 and is an established member of the side, having played at the 2019 and 2023 World Cups.

The 122kg prop said he was keen to add to his legacy in the Blues jersey.

“The Blues holds a special place in my heart, and I’m honoured to extend my journey here,” said Tu’ungafasi.

Tu’ungafasi’s influence extends beyond his longevity, having consistently demonstrated leadership on and off the field.

His support of initiatives such as the ‘Best Foot Forward for Tonga’ and the Blues community outreach during last season’s extreme weather events in Auckland show his dedication to the club and the region’s people.

Ofa Tu’ungafasi in action during the Rugby World Cup match against Namibia

“I’m proud to have played so much rugby for one club and it’s been cool to grow as a person and a player with the Blues.”

“I take a lot of pride in contributing not only to our Blues community but also to the development of our younger players. It’s great to work with the new front-rowers and I’m committed to ensuring we build strength in that area,” he said.

Head of Blues Rugby, Murray Williams, lauded Tu’ungafasi’s re-signing, emphasising his invaluable contribution to the team.

“Ofa’s work ethic is second to none and his prowess in the scrum is unmatched. He brings a positive vibe and good-natured spirit to our club, we’re stoked to have him with us for another two seasons,” said Williams.

“Having Ofa on board for the next two seasons reinforces our aspirations to drive towards winning a Super Rugby Pacific Championship. His experience, coupled with his unwavering commitment to the Blues, will undoubtedly inspire our pursuit of silverware.”

(Source: RNZ)