Patrick McKendry is a rugby and boxing writer for the Herald.

Rugby: Patrick Tuipulotu commits to Blues

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu will be available to play against the Rebels at Eden Park next weekend. Photo/Getty.
Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu will be available to play against the Rebels at Eden Park next weekend. Photo/Getty.

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu has re-committed to the Blues and New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2019.

Tuipulotu, 23, who played seven tests for the All Blacks in 2014, said the next World Cup in Japan was a long-term goal after missing last year's after his season-ending hip problem, for which he needed surgery.

"I am really enjoying my rugby at the Blues and I am learning a lot playing under Tana [Umaga].

"I like being based at home right now. Next year the Lions are coming to New Zealand which would be great to be part of. Injury meant I missed a chance to play in the World Cup, and so long term I would love to be at the next one."

Tuipulotu, who has missed the last two matches for the Blues with a fractured hand, will be available for their next match against the Rebels at Eden Park next weekend.

Tuipulotu joins current All Blacks Julian Savea, Brodie Retallick, Dane Coles and Aaron Smith who have all committed to New Zealand Rugby through until 2019, while a bulk of leading players have also committed through until 2018 and 2017.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said: "Patrick re-signing through to 2019 is great news. He's a player who we feel has huge potential and we are expecting him to play a major role for the All Blacks over this period and even beyond.

"He was unfortunate last year with his injury to miss the Rugby World Cup but clearly has the desire, drive and passion to get to the next one."

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