Former New Zealand under-20 captain and Maori All Blacks hooker Leni Apisai has left the Hurricanes and signed on for the Blues until 2019.

The 21-year-old, who will play for Wellington in the national provincial championship, has been a member of the Hurricanes squad since 2016.

Apisai played for New Zealand Schools in 2013 and was part of the New Zealand under-20 side that won the world final in 2015, going on to captain the team in 2016.

He was promoted to the Maori All Blacks at just 20 years of age for their northern tour last year, making his debut as a replacement for the tour captain Ash Dixon against Munster.


Blues high performance manager Tony Hanks said Apisai was a valuable signing.

"Leni is a player with proven Super Rugby ability and has developed leadership qualities," he said.

"He will add important depth as well as competition to the position with All Black James Parsons and Northland captain Matt Moulds as the hookers in the Blues squad for 2018."