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Blues' Front Row Bolstered with Tu'ungafasi's Return Against Highlanders

Blues' Front Row Bolstered with Tu'ungafasi's Return Against Highlanders

All BlacksMarch 1, 2024

All Blacks prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi will run out for his 134th game for the Blues against the Highlanders in DHL Super Rugby Pacific in Melbourne on Friday, his first game of the season.

The 57-Test All Black, who made his international debut in 2016, said he had a successful summer break, but is looking forward to getting back among the action in his 12th campaign for the side.

Melbourne's weather was looking good for the game and very similar to Auckland, but Tu'ungafasi said they were there to do a job and looking forward to the game.


An added attraction to the season has been the chance to work with new coach Vern Cotter and former All Blacks assistant coach Greg Feek, who has joined the Blues.

"Those two have a lot of experience. Vern has been around for a long time and Greg has done a great job with Ireland, and also the All Blacks. I'm looking forward again to learning and playing under these two."

There were a lot of new faces in the forwards this year and a good group who have been with the side for a while.

"We saw last week we went well against the Drua but we're looking forward to taking another step against the Highlanders."

Tu'ungafasi said the Highlanders had a successful pre-season and a great win over Moana Pasifika in round one.

"They have got a good pack and also a great backline. We know from their DNA that the Highlanders love running rugby, so it'll be a good game."

Cotter said while the Blues are fielding a new-look front row, it is part of a deliberate plan to build depth among the tight forwards.

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