Super Rugby 2019: Tom Robinson not buying into All Black call-up speculation

Despite being linked to a potential shock All Black call-up, Blues flanker Tom Robinson has more realistic goals in mind.

The 24-year-old has been superb through the first six rounds of Super Rugby, starring for the Blues each time he has donned the jersey.

His red locks almost make him as hard to miss as his robust style of play, which has some predicting national honours as early as 2019 for Robinson.

When pressed by Newshub on Tuesday if he was eyeing up the carrot of bigger things in a landmark year, Robinson jokingly agreed that his province Northland are playing for big stakes come the Mitre 10 Cup.

"Yes you're right, it will be a big year for the [Taniwha]," he quipped. "Nah, I'm just focusing on the Blues so at the moment that is all."

And it's that focus that has Robinson keeping out All Blacks prospect Dalton Papalii, who will likely feature off the bench for the remainder of the season with Blake Gibson's return imminent.

With Akira Ioane, Gibson, Papalii and Robinson in their stocks, the Blues loose forward trio is as talent-rich as any in Super Rugby.

Robinson preferred to throw praise at his fellow back rowers than accept that he had been the standout forward for the resurgent Blues.

"I'm just doing what I've always done, but I guess the whole mix of the team is kinda gelling at the moment. My job is to just hit rucks so that's all I am doing," he said.

"I just have my job to do on the park - so I just do that, then catch up with my coaches afterwards, get feedback and keep learning."

The success of 2019 is in stark contrast to 12 months ago. Two serious knee injuries have wrecked the past three years for Robinson, who just a year ago was focused on his academic studies.

"This time last year I was sitting in lectures pretending to listen recovering from an ACL tear playing for Varsity, [studying] economics and finance," the former Kerikeri High School student said.

"I've finished up but I haven't graduated yet - just waiting on a couple of my mates to finish up and then I'll graduate."

Big things were predicted for Robinson after starring for his college in the Northland competition several years ago.

The son of former All Black Alastair, Robinson believes he is proof that you don't need to play first XV rugby in the big cities to get noticed by Super Rugby scouts.

"I have always believed in myself. If you don't believe you are capable then no one else will, so yeah I have always had that belief there," he said.

"There is probably a bit of talk that to crack the Blues you have to play First XV down here [in Auckland], and there is no doubt that it is a high-quality competition.

"But I think wherever you go, if you work hard you can achieve anything."

The Blues host the Stormers at Eden Park on Saturday night.

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