Super Rugby 2020: Patrick Tuipulotu confirmed as Blues captain

The Blues have announced All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu as captain for the 2020 Super Rugby season.

Tuiplotu shared duties last year with flanker Blake Gibson, but will now take the reins on a solo basis.

After an injury plagued 2019, Gibson is keen to focus on his on-field endeavours, and coach Leon MacDonald is comfortable handing control to his stand-out second-rower.

"Patrick is a standout international player and a critical part of our pack on the field," said MacDonald.

"Off the field he is massively respected. He may be quiet-spoken, but when Patrick speaks, everyone listens."

The 26-year-old has made 67 appearances for the Auckland-based franchise, after making his debut in 2014.

"I'm pretty honoured and privileged to lead this team again," said Tuipulotu. "It's my home town, my home province.

"Obviously they're different circumstances this time... but I've got a good group of guys behind me that will help me out through the year."

Tuipulotu will be on the sideline for the final pre-season game against the Hurricanes on Friday, but will be available to play in their Super Rugby opener against rival Chiefs Chiefs on Friday 31 January.