A kilted Kiwi is coming home. Bay of Plenty have signed Scottish international loose forward Hugh Blake, who was born in Tauranga, for the NPC next month.
The 23-year-old Blake debuted for Scotland against Ireland in 2015, his sole cap, following his move from Edinburgh to Glasgow Warriors. Prior to his shift to the Northern Hemisphere, Blake represented New Zealand at Under 20 level as well as playing 20 games for Otago.
Blake was selected in Scotland's sevens side, in which he played 11 of the HBSC World Series tournaments over the past two years, whilst also representing the Warriors.
"I am really excited to return home, I was born in Tauranga and spent my early years growing up in Pongakawa. It's great to come back, especially with my Mum's family still being based here, so there is plenty of support," says Blake.
"I am hoping to come back to play some good New Zealand 15-a-side running footy, and stoked to take this opportunity".
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers says Blake will be offer great value, given Mitch Karpik is still rehabbing from a bad knee injury.
"It is always pleasing when we can bring back Bay players. Hugh is a very talented loose forward. His international experience will be a great addition to our team, especially with the uncertainty around Mitch as he recovers from his injury that he sustained playing for the Chiefs during their pre-season game in Rotorua," says Rogers.