Young and promising winger Mark Telea and exciting loose forward Hoskins Sotutu have extended their stays at the Blues.
Telea, a 23-year-old Super Rugby rookie, on Tuesday today confirmed he has re-signed until 2022, following on from No 8 Sotutu, who announced his two-year extension on Monday.
Telea has produced some eye-catching stats in the initial seven games of Super Rugby – first in defenders beaten, second in clean breaks and metres won. And in the last three games of Super Rugby Aotearoa he is second in defenders beaten and fifth in metres carried.
“Mark has taken his opportunity with both hands. He works really diligently on his fitness and his skills and we are thrilled with his first season so far,” Blues coach Leon MacDonald told the official Super Rugby NZ website.
“He has enjoyed the platform established by the forwards and given him licence to have a crack. While the stats speak for themselves, it does not show just how hard he works. We are pleased that we can continue to work with him to develop his game in the coming years.”
The 21-year-old Sotutu added a further two years to his initial contract after joining the Blues in 2019, having come through the franchise’s development programme, playing for Auckland and New Zealand Under-20s.
He has been a standout in Super Rugby this year with nearly 500m in carries, an average of around 50m per game, and is currently fourth highest in this part of the game in the Super Rugby Aotearoa statistics.
He averages over eight tackles per game and is currently top of the tackle count in Super Rugby Aotearoa with 38 in three games.
MacDonald said Sotutu has been one of the team standouts so far this season.
“He has a unique skillset which is well-rounded. He has set-up tries with his kicking and with accurate missed passes yet he can do the core roles of carrying hard, offloading, making his tackles and an asset in the lineout,” MacDonald said.
“Hoskins got his chance with the work he did pre-season and has continued to deliver game-in, game-out, and he is developing from a very quiet teenager to a real contributor off the field also.
“He has come out of the Blues and Auckland systems and if he continues to develop with the same attitude, he can look forward to a long and successful career with us.”