All Blacks remain with Counties Manukau

All Blacks remain with Counties Manukau

All Blacks stars Dalton Papalii, Hoskins Sotutu and Nepo Laulala will remain Counties Manukau players in 2022 and will play for the PIC Steelers whenever they’re not on international duty.

The trio have all signed contracts that will see them continue to represent the PIC Steelers at provincial level.

Papalii was promoted to Blues captain in Super Rugby Pacific this year and enjoyed a superb season before being selected in the All Blacks for the Ireland series.

He made an impression in his brief taste of NPC rugby with the PIC Steelers in 2020 and continued to be a leader off the park.

Sotutu made his PIC Steelers debut last year before COVID cut short the season. He too enjoyed a strong season with the Blues and has been picked in the national side once again.

Laulala is the most experienced of the trio having debuted for the PIC Steelers back in 2018 and proudly got his rugby grounding at Wesley College.

Coach Reon Graham is thrilled to have all three remain with the province.

“Dalton, Hoskins and Nepo are terrific rugby players and great ambassadors for us,” Graham said. “They are passionate about representing our region and our people.

“It will be fantastic if they are able to take to the field with us this season and I know they will have an impact on our group. At the same time we take great pride in them playing at a higher level and this is something I would encourage all of our players to strive for.”

The PIC Steelers begin their 2022 campaign with home game against Otago on Saturday August 6.

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