All Blacks and Blues number eight Hoskins Sotutu has signed with the Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union for this year’s Bunnings Warehouse NPC.
The 22-year-old made his All Blacks debut last year when he came off the bench against Australia in the first Bledisloe Cup test.
Sotutu, whose father Waisake attended Wesley College and played for Counties Manukau while still at school, links up with Blues teammates, Dalton Papali’i and Nepo Laulala at Counties Manukau.
“I’m very excited to join Counties Manukau,” Sotutu said. “Dad got his start in rugby in the region and has played for the Steelers. I also live in South Auckland and have a number of connections to Counties Manukau.
“I’m excited to be joining an organisation with such a passionate rugby community and I hope to develop my leadership and grow as a player at the Steelers.
Sotutu is close friends with prop Ezekiel Lindemuth and fellow loose forward Papali’i and will join a squad that already boasts impressive back-row stocks, including the likes of Viliami Taulani (Chiefs), Pukekohe captain Sam Slade and 2020 stand out Alamanda Motuga.
“Hoskins is first and foremost a top young man making his mark at the highest level and he’s also passionate about helping grow the community game in Counties Manukau,” said PIC Steelers head coach Tai Lavea.
“We look forward to him adding to our exciting group for the NPC season ahead and have no doubt his experience at the highest level will rub off in a positive way on our squad.”
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