Sir John Kirwan's Blues regime has received another knock, with a key player backing away from endorsing his coaching credentials.
Departing All Black back Charles Piutau shied away from saying Kirwan should stay at the helm, when interviewed by Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch.
Veitch asked the 23-year-old if he had full confidence in the coach. Piutau replied: "Oh, I think you know...I can't really speak on that. I'm not too sure. Whatever the board and franchise decide will be the best for the team. I'll back that."
When Veitch asked if Kirwan had the goods to coach at Super Rugby level, Piutau said: "That's a tough question...I don't want to comment."
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But Piutau did suggest that Kirwan had played a part in the team sticking together through tough times rather than splitting under the pressure of constant defeats. On his controversial move to Ulster, Piutau said it was not just a decision about money.
"I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience something new, a new culture, new style of rugby," he said.
Piutau had not talked with the All Black coaches but believed he was still in contention for the World Cup squad despite the top brass being unhappy with his move. New Zealand Rugby has ruled he cannot play for the Blues next year, before moving to the Irish club.