Blues add fourth All Blacks prop to ranks after signing Nepo Laulala
SOURCE: 1 NEWS
The Blues’ front row is set for some fierce selection battles in 2021 with the Auckland franchise picking up its fourth All Black front rower in Nepo Laulala.
The Blues announced this morning Laulala is heading north from the Chiefs on a two-year deal where he’ll link up with fellow All Blacks props Ofa Tuungafasi, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Alex Hodgman.
Laulala, who was educated in Auckland before beginning his professional career down south with Canterbury in 2011, said he wanted to move closer to family.
“My wife and I felt the time was right for us to move closer to our families in Auckland. I went to school in Auckland and our extended families are all there,” said Laulala.
“Family is so important to us and even more so for Loriana to have support when I am away.
“I want to thank the Chiefs for all they have done for me.”
Laulala, along with the other three Blues props, are currently preparing to head to Australia for the Tri-Nations although Laulala will join the team late after being granted paternity leave.
Blues coach Leon MacDonald said he was excited by the signing.
“Nepo is a powerful scrummager and has worked hard on improving his mobility and handling around the field,” said MacDonald.
“It will be great for the four All Blacks to feed off each other, share information and collectively push themselves to continue to improve.
Provincially, Laulala will continue to play for Counties-Manukau where his brothers Ray and Casey have played.