Luatua, Piutau, Saili commit to Blues
April 26, 2013
Charles Piutau has impressed for the Blues in 2013 © Getty Images
Luatua, who has been an outstanding performer for the Blues in Super Rugby this year said, "This is who I want to play for, and it's great to have some familiar faces alongside me extending their contracts with the Blues, too. This is home for me and I can't see myself playing for anyone else. It's pretty special what we're trying to build here, and I really want to be a part of that in the future. I'm thrilled the franchise has confidence in me, and I'm just looking forward to getting down to work and playing some good rugby for the Blues."
Blues high-performance manager Nick Sheppard said it was pleasing to see players from the local region coming through the ranks and committing to the franchise. "What is most satisfying is the fact that they've all come through our development program over the last four years and are now really starting to deliver on their exciting promise," Sheppard said. "We've been working with and developing these players since 2008-09 and we see them as real future stalwarts and major factors to the success of the team."
Sheppard said the players represented the tip of the talent available in the region. "You've only got to look at the next tier of players coming through such as Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Bryn Hall, Joe Edwards and Pita Ahki to see there is a strong system at work."
The Blues are determined to continue their focus on development, Sheppard said. "We can't take our foot off the throttle, and we can't take anything for granted if we want to be a world-class sporting organisation."
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra