The Blues have become synonymous with disappointment, the Super Rugby titles in 1996, 1997 and 2003 long forgotten.

Seven seasons without knockout football and a singular top 10 finish will do that.

Mention the team and the conversation inevitably turns to talk of unfulfilled promise and lost talent.


The Blues have done well to hang on to the incredible Ioane brothers, Rieko and Akira, after what had become a procession of players cutting their rugby teeth in the franchise's traditional feeder regions, only to transition from promising to prolific once they had taken the SH1 South.

Yet, despite the