Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Rugby: Canes bleed black as Weepu goes

Piri Weepu. Photo / Getty Images
Piri Weepu. Photo / Getty Images

Piri Weepu is the sixth All Black to sign off from the Hurricanes, heading for the Blues and dual roles at five-eighths and halfback.

He's taken up a one-season deal where his duties will be dictated by the form and reaction of another test halfback, Alby Mathewson.

Mathewson left the Canes to get a regular shot at halfback away from Weepu's influence but the pair will now be in some competition at the Blues. However Weepu is keen to play first five-eighths, where he plays a great deal of his club rugby, and if that happens he will be competing against young prospect Gareth Anscombe.

It could give the Blues a very Hurricanes look to their inside backs with Mathewson, Weepu and Ma'a Nonu set for the 2012 season.

All Blacks Weepu, Nonu, Neemia Tialata, Aaron Cruden, John Schwalger and Andrew Hore are leaving the Canes and there is some noise that Hosea Gear will also follow.

"I want to do a one-year deal then see if I want to do more or move overseas," Weepu said.

That might be a hint that he could switch to league with his mates Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams.

Weepu said he had been looking to shift from the Hurricanes but no one other than the Blues asked, but there are suggestions that he was asking big numbers for his signature.

"It'll be a chance for a fresh start after the World Cup, whatever happens. It's a question of wanting to get away and have some new challenges."

- NZ Herald

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