Super Rugby 2019: Blues playmaker Otere Black steers away from All Black talk

Otere Black, Blues first-fve.
Otere Black, Blues first-fve. Photo credit: Getty

The last thing on Otere Black's mind is the prospect of wearing an All Blacks jersey by the end of the season.

The Blues playmaker has been a big part of their resurgence in 2019, offering the stability missing in the No.10 jersey since the days of Carlos Spencer.

Damian McKenzie's season-ending injury has left a potential vacancy in the All Blacks World Cup squad as a third choice first-five - but for Black, it's about guiding the Blues through to the Super Rugby playoffs.

The Palmerston North native shied away from any talk of international ascension when asked by Newshub if he had All Blacks ambitions.

"It opens up a door for someone, but I am solely focused on what I am doing here at the Blues - that's all I can worry about," Black said.

"Everyone in New Zealand rugby wants a black jersey, but for now I am focused on the Blue jersey. If that happens, it happens, but it's not in my control.

"For me, it's about turning up each weekend and putting my best foot forward and nailing my responsibilities for this club."

Black is far from a lock in the Blues playmaker role, with the impressive Harry Plummer and talented Stephen Perofeta waiting in the wings, pushing for selection.

Black credits his fellow first-fives with the up-swing in form which coincided with a winning streak for the Blues.

"We have good competition for the No.10 jersey at the Blues so it's about me putting my head down and improve all areas of my game.

"The coaches have given me good feedback on what will help the team, so I focus on that during the week so I can head into the game with confidence."

The four-game winning streak was halted by the Chiefs last weekend, who outgunned the Blues 33-29 in a thrilling New Zealand derby.

Another tough match-up awaits the Blues in Dunedin this weekend, when they take on the slumping Highlanders at Forsyth Bar Stadium.

Without a win since the second round, the blue-and-golds are looking to reset their season with a home win over the Blues.

Black said the Auckland-based club must improve on their losing effort against the Chiefs.

"The game came down to a couple of crucial moments that we didn't take last weekend, and it's going to be another tough game against the Highlanders.

"They are a quality side with quality players so we have to prepare for that - it's going to be a parochial crowd down there and we are looking forward to facing that.

"It's another big challenge, their back are against the wall so we have to turn up and play our game."

Despite the loss, the Blues remained third on the New Zealand conference, three points back from the Hurricanes.

The Highlanders prop up the ladder with 14 points from eight games.


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