All Blacks: Patrick Tuipulotu, Dalton Papalii re-sign with NZ Rugby

Patrick Tuipulotu and Dalton Papalii.
Patrick Tuipulotu and Dalton Papalii. Photo credit: Getty

All Blacks duo Patrick Tuipulotu and Dalton Papalii have re-signed with NZ Rugby and Blues.

Lock Tuipulotu has committed for a further year until the end of 2020, while flanker Papalii has extended his stay to at least 2022.

Tuipulotu has played 21 tests for the All Blacks, since making his debut in 2014, with Papalii playing two tests against Japan and Italy during last November's northern tour.

"It's great news for the Blues - and for us - that both Paddy and Dalton have re-signed with New Zealand Rugby," All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said.

"Patrick has been in our environment for several years now and has all the natural attributes required to keep developing into a truly international lock. He has speed and agility for a big man, and is strong in his core roles.

"Dalton has shown us all just what kind of impact he has on a game. He brings size to the loose forward role and also a huge work rate to his game, especially on defence and in the breakdown.  

"He has a huge future in our game, which is exciting, and we congratulate him and Paddy on their commitment to New Zealand Rugby."

Tuipulotu is co-captain of the Blues this season, alongside Blake Gibson, after helping Auckland to Mitre 10 Cup glory last year.

"Patrick is clearly an immense figure in the game and possesses tremendous speed and skill for such a big man," said Blues general manager Tony Hanks. "We think New Zealand is still to see the best of him."

This is Papalii's first full year in Super Rugby, after making his debut mid-way through last season, but he's quickly become a crucial member of the team.

The loose forward is a two-time Development Player of the Year, and was Rookie of the Year and Club Person of the Year in his debut season.

"Dalton is a product of our system, part of our development programme and we earmarked him as a future Blues player from a young age,” Hanks added.

“He has played [and captained] our U18s and U20s, successfully transitioned to the Blues and earned selection to the All Blacks, following an outstanding Mitre 10 Cup for Auckland.

"He is not only an outstanding prospect on the field, he is a natural leader off it. He is already developing into a superb professional and we are thrilled he will be with us for a further three years."


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