Rugby: Pulu signs with Blues

New Zealand sevens player and Chiefs halfback Augustine Pulu has signed with the Blues for next season. Photo / Ben Fraser.
New Zealand sevens player and Chiefs halfback Augustine Pulu has signed with the Blues for next season. Photo / Ben Fraser.

New Zealand sevens player and Chiefs halfback Augustine Pulu has signed with the Blues for next season.

Currently out of action with a broken arm, the 26-year-old still has hopes of representing his country at the Rio Olympics.

Pulu, who has played two Tests for the All Blacks and over 50 games for the Chiefs and Counties Manukau, has signed for two years with Tana Umaga's team.

The former Wesley College student became a star performer for Umaga's Counties Manukau side, and was part of the team's rise to the premier division, winning the Ranfurly Shield for the first time.

"Obviously I've had a lot to do with Augustine and I am impressed with his ability on the field and his demeanour off it, both as a player and a leader," Umaga said.

"He will bring a different approach and style to the halfback game which will provide us with more options in how we play."

Pulu made his debut for the Chiefs in 2012 and earned his two All Blacks caps in 2014, playing against the USA and Scotland on the team's Northern Hemisphere tour that year.

In late 2015 he joined the All Black Sevens programme with the ambition of making the Olympic team. He was named Player of the Tournament at the National Sevens in Rotorua in January, and was developing as a key playmaker for the All Blacks Sevens until breaking his arm during the Sydney Sevens this year. He remains on track to return to sevens to be in contention for Olympic selection.

Blues coach Umaga said the signing of Pulu will be an important one for the 2017 campaign.

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