Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Rugby: Blade sharper on return

Blade Thomson is on the up. Photo / Getty Images
Blade Thomson is on the up. Photo / Getty Images

When Blade Thomson was pushed out of the Hurricanes' starting line-up he was told to work on his ball-carrying.

It wasn't so much that he was dropped but after starting the season playing No8, the return of Victor Vito from injury in week eight meant Thomson had to shift to the bench.

His versatility has been his greatest asset this year though, often earning him a spot in the reserves given he can cover lock, blindside flanker and No8.

After making the required improvements, the 23-year-old was given the chance to start in the second-row last Saturday and produced a stirring two-try effort, including some notable work with ball-in-hand, as the Hurricanes beat the Crusaders 16-9 to keep their season alive.

Thomson also inked a new two-year deal with the Hurricanes this week and will make his 13th appearance of the season tonight when Mark Hammett's side take on the Chiefs in Hamilton in a season-defining game for both teams.

If the fifth-placed Hurricanes can make it two from two against the Chiefs this season, they will likely book a spot in this year's playoffs.

- NZ Herald

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